Has the ricotta trend gone too far? This viral plunge makes us think so

I don’t know what to make of this food trend.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Reviewed by Dietitian Victoria Seaver, MS, RD

It started with whipped ricotta taking over the internet. Then, ricotta desserts became all the rage, with edible cookie dough and ice cream highlighting the cheese as a surprising protein-packed ingredient. Now, another ricotta sauce is trending, but this one is debatable.

Listen, we expected the ricotta trend to pick up this summer. But I’m checking out this new trend with ricotta and yellow mustard.

TikTok content creator Tiffany Elizabeth said mixing cottage cheese and mustard into a sauce and eating it with fruits, vegetables and chicken sausage helped her on her weight loss journey.

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Throughout her account, Elizabeth shares videos of herself diving into one iteration of this dish every day. Her plate includes a mix of your classic healthy dippers like carrots and cauliflower, as well as items like heart of palm, dragon fruit, and Japanese white sweet potato. And a chicken sausage link or two is almost always included. In her videos of hers, she promotes this meal as a staple in her healthy eating plan and even credits it as one lunch that helped her lose 80 pounds.

Naturally, the internet is divided. Is this the savory ricotta hack we’ve been waiting for, or is this mustard dip taking the cheesy food trend too far? Personally, I’m leaning towards the latter.

I’m not trying to piss anyone off. If you really like the taste of this sauce and find that it helps you eat more greens, then go for it. But it’s not like this combination of dips is the ultimate healthy alternative to ranch or other dips and dips. In fact, 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard and a serving of 2 percent cottage cheese together rack up about 800 milligrams of sodium, which exceeds the recommended limit we stick to when developing lunch recipes here at EatingWell. And that’s excluding sodium from the rest of the meal. A single ring of chicken sausage will add another 460 milligrams of sodium to your meal.

Related: 11 ricotta recipes you’ll want to make forever

If you’re trying to lose weight, sodium isn’t typically a nutrient you need to limit. Unless you’re trying to lose weight to help improve a different condition where limiting sodium is key, like diabetes or heart disease.

Elizabeth seems to add anywhere from a cup of cottage cheese to her lunch bowl, which adds about 6-8 grams of protein to this dish, which is nothing! But most of the protein in Elizabeth’s lunch combo comes from chicken sausage, which she adds up to 15 grams per link. Protein can help with weight loss, as it’s digested slowly, helping you feel more satisfied between meals. (Read more about how a high-protein diet can help with weight loss.) Plus, when paired with fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and healthy fats, found in foods like guacamole, nuts, or seeds, you also get more satisfying staying power from your meal.

It is not the combination of cottage cheese and mustard itself, but a combination of the components of this dish, especially chicken sausage and high-fiber products, that probably contributed most to Elizabeth’s weight loss.

So again, if you like this viral cheese dip, I won’t blame you or your taste buds. But also know that it’s perfectly fine to dip into a creamy ranch or dip to your liking if that’s really what you’re craving. Sure, mustard has fewer calories than other sauces. But that shouldn’t be the reason you seek it out instead of something you’ll actually like. For me, I’ll stick with the Dill Pickle Dip and Homemade Ranch Dressing recipes to coat my crunchy veggies.

Next: Top 4 Cottage Cheese Brands, Tested by Dietitians and EatingWell Editors

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