The Healthy Replacement You Should Use Instead Of Mayo

Mayonnaise may be a childhood staple, but it's far from the healthiest topping for your lunch wrap. Store-bought mayonnaise packs a whopping 11 grams of fat per serving, and at 100 calories per tablespoon, it's one of the higher-calorie condiments for your sandwich (via USDA). And even 'light' versions of mayonnaise can be problematic: According to the Food Network, decreasing the fat content means an increase in sugar, as well as fat replacers like xanthan gum and preservatives. 

It's time to swap out your usual mayo for a healthier option: hummus.

Whether you choose to buy hummus pre-made or whip up your own in your food processor at home, the simple blend of chickpeas, tahini, and spices is a nutritional powerhouse. At roughly 60 calories per serving, it contains 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein as well as B vitamins, iron, calcium, and magnesium (via USDA and Healthline). It can even stave off blood sugar spikes and has been linked to lower BMI in people who regularly eat it (via Health).

If you're hoping to lower your overall caloric intake, skip store-made hummus that's packed with extras like pine nuts, since a serving of those heavier hummus options can be almost as calorie-dense as mayonnaise (via Sabra). "If you buy pre-made versions, be sure to check the label," Cynthia Sass told Health. "Choose brands made with extra virgin olive oil — as opposed to more inflammatory oils, like soybean oil. And skip hummus that contains preservatives."

Hate hummus? Try these instead

For an even simpler mayonnaise replacement, ripe avocado slices can be mashed and spread on a sandwich in its place. At half the calories of mayonnaise per serving, avocado provides healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin K while maintaining the same creamy texture as mayonnaise with a slightly sweet flavor (via SELF). It also works for salad dressings: Registered dietitian Alex Caspero of Have A Plant recommends tossing ripe avocado chunks in the blender rather than using the mayonnaise a recipe calls for. For foodies who prefer more complex flavor profiles, you can combine the nutritional benefits of chickpeas and avocado in Delish's recipe that blends cilantro, lime, tahini, and garlic with avocados and chickpeas. 

For a tangy low-calorie substitute on sandwiches, try yellow mustard or spicy mustard at only three calories per serving. It's also a good source of the essential micronutrient selenium (via SELF). Or add toppings that pack plenty of flavor so you don't miss the mayonnaise at all: Food Network's Sandwich King Jeff Mauro recommends pickled jalapeños, roasted tomatoes, honey Dijon mustard, or reduced balsamic vinaigrette to elevate your sandwich to the next level.