What You Need to Know About the Bizarre Cottage Cheese and Mustard Trend Taking Over TikTok, According to a Registered Dietician

published Jul 7, 2023
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Cottage cheese is in its comeback era. The creamy, high-protein dairy product — once regarded as unappetizing but OK, fine nutritious — has cemented itself as one of 2023’s major food trends. Today, TikTok and Instagram creators are churning cottage cheese into ice cream, mixing it into creamy pasta, and putting it on toast. 

Now the cottage cheese train has taken a slightly unexpected turn. TikTok creators are combining cottage cheese and — wait for it — yellow mustard?! The interesting pairing was largely popularized by TikTok user @tiffanyymagee, who first posted a video eating cottage cheese and mustard earlier this year. She often eats it with other forms of protein like chicken sausage, plus cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli. The combination is believed to be a part of a high-protein, high-fiber diet.

It’s well-known that cottage cheese is an incredibly nutritious, super versatile food and when paired with foods like chicken sausage can provide a generous amount of protein. To get a professional take on the food combo, we consulted Eleana Kaidanian, RD, CDN, CPT-WFS, award-winning registered dietician and owner of Long Island Nutritionist. “Mustard is one of the ‘healthier’ condiments as it does not have added sugars, artificial ingredients or colorings, and is basically a blend of dry spices, mustard seed and vinegar,” Kaidanian said. Though an excessive amount of mustard can sometimes present considerable amounts of sodium, Kaidanian explained, it’s likely not a risk, especially if eaten for dipping or drizzling.

OK, but how much cottage cheese and mustard is too much? Does the limit exist? Kaidanian drives home that ensuring we take in variety is key: “With all food, the goal is to strive for balance. Even the healthiest of foods are not complete to provide your daily requirements for all nutrients.” So it seems this newfound trend can have a place as part of a healthy diet.

Before you reach for a tub at the grocery store, keep in mind that not all cottage cheese is created equal: It comes in a few different forms, with differing fat percentages and curd size. “Variations in sodium content such as ‘no salt added’ cottage cheese are available for those watching their sodium intake,” says Kaidanian. “Many other cheeses do not offer that option. Consumed daily, cottage cheese can be a great boost to your diet.”

If you’re looking to try out the cottage cheese and mustard combo with different vegetables, meats, and poultry, be sure to customize your diet plan according to your specific needs and preferences.