Mayo is often marketed as an alternative to unhealthy cheese dips and sandwich spreads, but is it really healthy, or is it just another marketing gimmick? Sure, mayo is creamy and sinfully delicious and you can use it to make a quick “healthy” sandwich or salad for work, but before you dump that jar of mayo into your shopping cart, maybe you should take a closer look at the ingredients.
The Truth About Mayo: The Good, The Bad, & The Scary
“The only “good” ingredients in store-bought mayo are lime juice & water!”
When you make mayo at home, you can control all the ingredients and make sure you only use the best, so even though it would be high in calories, it would still have nutritional value. After carefully studying the label of your mayo jar, you will be forced to conclude that the only “good” ingredients in store-bought mayo are lime juice and water!
“Store bought mayo contains virtually no egg, but mainly comprises an emulsion of water, low quality vegetable oils like palm oil, & sugar – a recipe for disaster”
Yes, eggs are very healthy, but most commercial mayo preparations do not contain any egg at all. What do they contain then, you ask? They contain water! Yes, your so-called healthy mayo is nothing but an emulsion (mixture) of oil and water; so ask yourself this, would you lather that much oil onto your sandwich?
Additionally, manufacturers won’t even tell you what oil they are using, it’s just listed as vegetable oil! The term covers any oil that is extracted from a plant including corn oil, soybean oil, and even palm oil; incidentally, palm oil is one of the unhealthiest oils in the world. Manufacturers cut corners by using the cheapest oils to make mayo, which means that you just bought yourself a nice big jar of unhealthy trans fats!
What’s worse is that your jar of mayo contains more than just unhealthy fats, it also contains plenty of sugar!
“The high sugar content, combined with trans fats in mayo, greatly increases the risk of obesity & a variety of related lifestyle diseases like heart disease & diabetes”
Lots of people, including young parents pressed for time, see terms like ‘low fat’ or ‘light’ mayo and they assume that this would be a healthier option for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, this type of mayo is no healthier than regular mayo and in fact, it can be a whole lot worse. 1 tablespoon of regular mayo contains 1 gram of sugar, but the same amount of low fat mayo has 4 times as much sugar – 4 grams, which equals a whole teaspoon.
This is why 1 tablespoon of mayo is a whopping 95 calories and most us use about 2 tablespoons per sandwich. So, if you’re eating a hearty snack of 2 mayo sandwiches, it means that you will consume a little less than 400 calories at one go!
Scientists have found that foods that are high in sugar AND fats result in altered glucose metabolism and increased body fat – in other words, a daily mayo sandwich will make you pile on the pounds faster than that the fattening Chinese food you’re trying to avoid.
The high amount of (barely) edible vegetable oils along with the crazy sugar content makes mayo a very unhealthy choice. We really wish we could tell you that this is as bad as it gets, but you should also take into account that mayo contains a wide range of artificial preservatives and additives like corn starch, and even MSG (monosodium glutamate).
So, the next time you pass the condiments aisle at the supermarket, avert your eyes and just walk on by… your love handles will thank you!