Eat This, Not That Mayo
By Nikki Doering, RD, LD
August 13, 2019
Salads made with mayonnaise are a summer favorite. However, not all mayos are created equal; so, how do we know if we are eating a healthy mayo or a refined oil which may be doing more harm than good?
Let’s take a deeper look into keeping our bodies healthy with mayo as a healing fat.
At Nutritional Weight & Wellness we explain that healthy fats are important for healing our cells and bodies. We say things like, “Eat fat to lose weight,” and “Eating Fat doesn’t make you fat.” One fat we include in the list of healthy fats is mayonnaise – but just like any processed food, you need to look at the label to determine what is in the product. Not all brands of mayo are the same or have the same health benefits.
When looking for a healthy version of mayo, you want to find one that has a cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oil, such as expeller-pressed safflower oil or cold-pressed avocado oil. Cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils were made with the least amount of processing, meaning the oil was pressed out of the plant. The less the oil is processed, the healthier it is for our bodies.
So with those qualifiers in mind (and if you’re writing your grocery list now!) here are our favorite kinds of mayonnaise.
Eat This Mayonnaise
- Hain Mayonnaise (made from expeller-pressed safflower oil)
- Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo (made with avocado oil)
- Homemade Healthy Mayo
Now that you know what to look for let’s focus on what to avoid and why certain mayonnaise options aren’t healthy. Many mayo brands contain damaged vegetable oils in the form of refined oils. When a vegetable oil is refined it goes through a lengthy process including chemical processing and high- temperature heating which creates a damaged fat. These damaged fats are harder for our bodies to process and aren’t great for our health since they are inflammatory. Chronic inflammation can cause multiple health problems including weight gain and pain. These damaged oils can also increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases.
Do Not Eat This Mayonnaise
- Hellman’s (made with soybean oil)
- Kraft Olive Oil Mayo (contains some olive oil as well as soybean and canola oil)
- Miracle Whip (made with soybean oil)
Mayo can be a great healthy fat to include in your balanced eating plan. Just remember to read labels when choosing which mayo to add to a grilled hamburger patty or mix into a chicken salad. Plus, don’t be overwhelmed to make your own if you can’t find the brands I listed above; it couldn’t be easier and will probably be the best mayo you’ve ever had!
Here's a great recipe to use that homemade mayonnaise:
Makes 3 servings | Gluten free and dairy free
16 oz. chicken breast (cooked and cubed)
3 hard-boiled eggs (quartered)
1 ½ c. apples or grapes (diced)
¾ c. safflower mayonnaise
1 ½ c. celery (sliced)
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
dash of salt
dash of onion powder
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Serve on a bed of greens.