Mayonnaise is an incredibly popular dressing and the guiltily consumed treat of many. Why guiltily? Because for years the public has been fed information which points the finger at mayonnaise as an extremely unhealthy food.
Many people are now waking up to the possibility that many of the ‘facts’ about mayonnaise are actually myths or at best partly understood information. So, is mayonnaise good for your health or is mayonnaise not good for you?
There is a Lot of Fat in Mayonnaise: Fact or Fiction?
Yes, there is fat in mayonnaise but fat doesn’t have to mean bad. It is important to understand the difference in types of fat in foods before it can be decided whether mayonnaise is good or bad for you.
Saturated fat – this is a baddie, difficult for the body to break down and raises cholesterol levels in the body.
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil – the ultimate baddie of the fat family. Experts claim that trying to digest these fats is akin to the body trying to break down ingested plastic.
Mono and polyunsaturated fats – these are the good fats. Your body needs fat for vital functions and these are the ones it craves. They are easily absorbed and lower cholesterol levels in the body whilst increasing energy levels. Medical experts recommend these types of fat in your diet to lower the risk of heart disease.
In a typical jar of mayonnaise there are NO hydrogenated fats and very low levels of saturated fat. The majority of fats in mayonnaise are mono and polyunsaturated fats – the good ones.
Mayonnaise Has No Nutritional value: Fact or Fiction?
That depends. Some mayonnaise is made only with the white of the egg. Most mayonnaise is made with the whole egg – yolk and white. Eggs are another food source that have received much bad press. Yes, they do have cholesterol but they also contain an incredible amount of essential vitamins and minerals along with other valuable nutrients.
As so often happens in the world of exploring what’s good/what’s bad for you, the advice on eggs is now starting to make a u-turn. If eaten in moderation and as part of an otherwise healthy diet, eggs are good for you. They mean that mayonnaise does have a nutritional value.
The other ingredients in a typical jar of mayonnaise are salt, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar.
Mayonnaise typically contains soya-bean oil or olive oil both of which are extremely good for you. They have high levels of the good fats (as discussed above).
Both lemon juice and vinegar have powerful anti-bacterial properties so will help your body to fight off harmful bacteria.
Salt, and sometimes the sugar present in mayonnaise, is of course not on the healthy list but their levels are normally very low.
Taken fact by fact it would appear that the previous thinking that mayonnaise is not good for you is somewhat of a myth. Remember, the official advisory and dietary experts can get it wrong. Not so long ago avocados, we were told, were bad for us. Now avocados are hailed as one of the most complete and nutrient rich foods we can give our bodies. Of course, you must make your own decision based on the facts but maybe now the pleasure of eating mayonnaise can be guilt free – mayonnaise is good for your health.