The Pros and Cons of TikTok's Viral Cottage Cheese and Mustard 'Diet'

  • TikTok users are dipping vegetables and other foods in cottage cheese and mustard and calling it a weight loss strategy.
  • Cottage cheese and mustard are both relatively inexpensive and do have some health benefits—particularly cottage cheese as a great source of protein.
  • But experts agree that a truly nutritious diet and weight loss strategy involves eating a wider variety of healthy foods.

woman looking at phone in kitchen

woman looking at phone in kitchen

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Mustard and cottage cheese might not sound like a flavor match made in heaven—but that hasn’t stopped this food combo from taking TikTok by storm.

These two simple kitchen staples have become a TikTok sensation, with influencers filming themselves dipping foods like raw vegetables or chicken sausage into the cultured cheese and then slathering it with the yellow condiment.

Started by influencer Tiffany Magee, the hashtag #veggieswithmustard now has over 250 million views on TikTok. Magee claims that regularly eating this meal has helped her lose 80 pounds, and others have latched onto the trend as a way to shed weight.

The thinking goes that, as a high-protein food, cottage cheese keeps you full, as do other high-protein foods, such as sausage, that you might dip into the ingredient combo. Other dipping candidates—veggies like broccoli, hearts of palm, carrots, or peppers—are high in fiber, which also helps keep you sated for longer. Mustard provides a tangy flavor that TikTokkers say adds to the deliciousness.

As long as you’re not eating other high-fat, high-calorie foods, these elements create the perfect recipe for weight loss, proponents of the mustard and cottage cheese trend say.

But is this eating plan right for you?

If you want to trim down, this diet might seem especially enticing—it involves inexpensive ingredients and little planning. However, dietitians note that it has some red flags. Here’s what they said about this latest TikTok trend.

The Benefits of Eating Mustard and Cottage Cheese

Both ingredients offer health benefits, with cottage cheese, in particular, being a favorite of dietitians due to its excellent nutrient profile. “Cottage cheese is a great source of protein with 25 grams per cup, and a good source of calcium and vitamin B12,” Jamie Nadeau, RD, of The Balanced Nutritionist, told Health. “Many people struggle to prioritize enough protein, and cottage cheese is a super convenient and affordable option.” Other nutrients in cottage cheese include phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin A.

People with diabetes or insulin resistance can benefit from eating cottage cheese, according to Miranda Galati, MHSc, RD, founder of Real Life Nutritionist. “As a naturally high-protein and low-sugar food, cottage cheese is great for blood sugar,” Galati told Health. “When you pair a protein-rich food like cottage cheese with a carbohydrate source like fruit, you’re getting long-lasting energy to keep you full and prevent blood sugar crashes later.”

Mustard has some health perks, too. “For one, mustard is low in calories and can support weight loss goals,” Galati said. “Mustard is also rich in antioxidants such as isothiocyanates and sinigrin, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties and can help protect against disease.” 

If you choose mustard with seeds, you’ll rack up extra benefits. Mustard seeds contain magnesium, manganese, selenium, and a hint of fiber. Still, dose and context matter. “The mustard plant and mustard seeds contain many beneficial compounds, but you’re not necessarily transforming your health by squirting some on your sausage or vegetables,” Galati said.

The Drawbacks of a Mustard and Cottage Cheese Diet

Since cottage cheese, mustard, meats, and veggies are generally low-calorie and promote fullness, it’s entirely possible that eating them on repeat will lead to weight loss. But that doesn’t necessarily make for a balanced and nutritious diet, said Galati.

“A healthy diet should include a variety of foods to ensure you’re getting all the nutrition you need," she said. "Relying on cottage cheese as your only source of protein might mean you’re missing out on other health-promoting foods like fish, beans, or lean meats.” 

Additionally, some mustard and cottage cheese brands contain high amounts of sodium, which could pose problems for blood pressure when eaten in excess. If you decide to eat these foods often, it's smart to keep tabs on how much sodium each meal provides.

There’s also the possibility that you will tire of eating the same foods every day, making this weight loss plan diet difficult to stick with in the long term. Eventually, you might binge on high calorie foods just to balance your diet.

Finally, if you don’t like mustard and cottage cheese in the first place, it’s probably not a great idea to jump on this trend. “If you're choking down cottage cheese simply because Tiktok told you it's good for weight loss, it's not going to serve you well long-term,” Nadeau said.

Is This Diet Right for You?

When selecting dip ingredients, you could do much worse than mustard and cottage cheese. “Choosing a high protein dip like mustard and cottage cheese over a low protein dip, like salad dressing, definitely has its benefits,” said Nadeau. “When you use a higher protein dip, it adds to the satisfaction factor of your whole meal or snack.” There’s even no harm in eating it regularly, she said.

But if you want to eat mustard, cottage cheese, veggies, and meats for every meal—and for weight loss purposes—Galati said you might want to reconsider.

“I’ll be honest, it looks like a tasty lunch, but please include some other nutritious options in your life too," she said. "I promise, it’s not the weight loss miracle plate that TikTok is making it out to be."