How Unhealthy Is Mayonnaise?

If you're one of those people who loves to spread a copious helping of mayonnaise on your ham and cheese sandwich, you're in good company. According to data compiled by Statista, over 276 million Americans used mayonnaise or a mayonnaise-style salad dressing in 2020, and that figure is projected to increase to nearly 284 million by 2024.

Delicious? Yes. But let's take a closer look at the nutritional value of mayonnaise.

According to Nutritionix, just one tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 10 grams of fat. The good news, though, is that the bulk of this fat is comprised of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy fats also found in foods such as fish, nuts, and avocados (via VeryWellFit). But mayonnaise does also contain saturated fat, which is the kind of fat that can raise your cholesterol and lead to heart disease (via Harvard Health).

Some nutritionists suggest reduced-fat mayonnaise as an alternative. However, these can sometimes contain more starch and sugar than regular mayonnaise, so be sure to compare nutrition labels before buying .

What are healthier alternatives to mayonnaise?

You have a number of options if you're looking for a healthier condiment alternative to mayo. Food publication Spoon University, provides the following suggestions.

Low fat, plain Greek yogurt is a delicious, creamy alternative that will not only reduce your fat and calorie intake, but is also a great source of calcium. So, consider Greek yogurt in lieu of mayonnaise the next time you make chicken salad. Alternatively, olive oil won't have the same creamy texture as mayonnaise, but it's full of flavor and healthy monounsaturated fats. Sprinkle it on your pasta salad or fish filets for a Mediterranean taste. To add some tang to your meal, opt for mustard over mayo the next time you plan on a sandwich for lunch. There are countless varieties of mustard, many of which are low in calories, especially when compared to mayonnaise.

But, if at the end of the day your heart belongs to mayonnaise, just be sure to consume it in moderation to maintain a healthy heart.