Mayonnaise, informally mayo, is a thick cold condiment, a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and an acid, either vinegar or lemon juice. It’s so commonly used in sandwiches, hamburgers, composed salads or on French fries that we can’t hardly imagine our lives without it. At the same time, many would say that this sauce is ridiculously unhealthy. So, where’s the truth? Is mayo keto after all? Are those fats in mayonnaise keto-approved?
Let’s dive deeper.
Do you have a particular question about mayo and keto? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Is mayo a good fat for keto?
- What about light mayo on keto?
- Is mayonnaise good for keto?
- Keto-approved mayonnaise
- Best store-bought mayo for keto
- How to make homemade keto mayo?
- Best keto mayo recipe
The classic mayonnaise recipe has only two ingredients – olive oil and eggs. It was created in 1756 by the French chef, who was trying to come up with something special to celebrate a special occasion. His master, the Duc de Richelieu, just beat the British at Port Mahon (hence the celebratory name of the sauce).
And that even indeed called for some festivities. That supposed to include a sauce made of cream and eggs. But since the chef was out of cream, he used olive oil, and the new sauce turned out to be a big hit since then.
Is mayo a good fat for keto?
It can be, if we are talking about recipes containing only sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like avocado or olive oils.
Unfortunately, not every store-bought mayo will be healthy. Many will use low-quality oils and sugars. So you have to be mindful of what you purchase if you are serious about keto.
If we are talking, macros mayo is keto-friendly. It’s low in carbs and proteins and high in fats.
Even the budget mayo products with added sugars are still keto-approved, solely judging by macros. However, for optimal keto and for the sake of your health, it is crucial to think about ingredients’ quality.
But how to spot the good and the bad fats amongst mayo’s ingredients list?
First of all, let’s clarify what good fats are. Those are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones. Overall they tend to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke and increase the good HDL cholesterol levels (while decreasing the bad one).
Excellent sources of polyunsaturated fats are sunflower, flaxseed, sesame, soymilk, tofu, soybean and sunflower oil, etc.
And monounsaturated fats can be found in avocado, olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils, etc.
Quite bad are saturated ones. These will drum up harmful LDL cholesterol levels and overall, are not recommended if you care about heart health. Among its primary sources are various meat and dairy products, lard, coconut, and palm oils.
And the worst ones are notorious trans fats – these are your shortcut to stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions. For every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.
Trans fats are a byproduct of hydrogenation. It’s used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. So you have to read those labels carefully and avoid the products that include hydrogenated oils.
What about light mayo on keto?
Many nutritionists will recommend to opt-in for reduced-fat mayonnaise. While it has fewer calories and less fat than regular mayonnaise, an actual fat is often replaced with starches or sugar to improve texture and flavor. So light mayo is definitely not the best choice on keto.
Is mayonnaise good for keto?
Considering that mayo is lacking essential micronutrients, you might be surprised to find out that it can be fairly good for keto. First, as I’ve mentioned earlier, it has an almost keto-perfect macros ratio.
It’s high in fats (in good fats if you are diligent enough) and low in proteins. And it has nearly zero carbs if you choose a brand without sugar or make keto mayonnaise yourself.
Anything with added sugars isn’t going to be as healthy or keto-friendly. As well as any preservatives. You should always be mindful of “oil” content too.
Some store-bought “avocado” mayo will claim it’s “avocado oil blended with hydrogenated soybean oil” or something similar.
This is when companies use a minuscule percentage of avocado oil to justify the label but aren’t actually all-in on the idea.
If you found the right brand that seems trustworthy, you can definitely have mayo on a keto diet. The same would go for the case if you decided to make the sauce yourself (wait for the killer recipe at the end of this article).
Some might think that cooking is a bit of a hassle or just prefer to have some quick keto mayo options to shop around. If that’s your case, let’s look at some popular mayo brands and try to figure out if those will work for keto.
Can you eat Hellman’s mayo on keto?
One serving of classic Hellman’s mayo – 1 tablespoon or 14g – has 100 calories, 0g carbs, and 11g of fats, including 1.5g of “bad” saturated fats.
This recipe is based on soybean oil (although it most likely is not organic), water, eggs, vinegar and lemon juice, calcium, disodium edta, natural flavors, and SUGAR.
Overall, I don’t see much harm in eating this particular brand while on keto. But I’d personally skip it because of the eggs and overall ingredients quality – I’d prefer to be sure that the oil used is made of non-GMO produce. It’s practically impossible to know if that’s the case for sure when dealing with huge corporations like Unilever (owner of the brand).
Is Best Foods mayo keto?
So the recipes and macros for those two brands are identical. The only difference is the brand name. Even the packaging looks pretty much the same.
One serving of real Best Food mayo has 100 calories, 0g carbs, and 11g of fats, including 1.5g of “bad” saturated fats. And based on the soybean oil as well and all the same ingredients.
And my conclusion is the same – you can probably enjoy occasional serving of this mayo on keto here and there. Still, it definitely won’t be my personal choice due to overall ingredients quality.
Is Duke’s mayo keto approved?
Duke’s recipe includes soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors, calcium disodium edta added to protect flavor.
One serving of this mayo has 100 calories, 10mg of cholesterol, 0g carbs, and 12g of fats, including 1.5g of “bad” saturated fats.
It’s pretty standard ingredients in my mind that don’t seem any better than the options above.
Previously Duke’s was a family-owned business, but back in 2019, it was acquired by a private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners, and I guess the production process got more efficient and soulless.
Is Kewpie mayo good for keto diet?
Those who know this Japanese mayonnaise are sure aware of how unique it is. It’s not uncommon to see how people are going crazy trying to figure out the mysterious ingredient of this mayo as it tastes so good. My guess it’s the oil composition and controversial Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).
As far as ingredients list goes, Kewpie mayo includes egg, yolk, vinegar, salt, spices, natural flavor, MSG, and a blend of two oils: canola and soybean.
While both might cost pretty much the same, however, Soy oil accounts for nearly 80% of vegetable oil produced in the U.S., that’s why it’s so typical to see it’s more common in the U.S. brands.
But overall, of all vegetable oils, canola oil tends to have the least amount of saturated fats. Which makes it a better alternative. Though again, many western manufacturers will use GMO-produce to make that oil. But I guess those risks are lower in Japan. At least, according to Wikipedia, Japan has not approved any commodity G.M. crops to be grown in Japan (apart from
As for the macros, Kewpie mayo has 100 Calories per serving. Including 10g of Fats (1.5g of “bad” saturated ones).
Overall, it might be a better keto option if you are not scared of conspiracy theories behind MSG and its potentially damaging influence on the human brain.
Best store-bought mayo for keto
With store-bored brands, you never know anything for sure. Unless you are standing there in the company’s production facilities and follow the manufacturing process step by step.
Since most of us don’t have that luxury, we must rely on what’s written in the label. And based on that data, I’d say the Primal Kitchen recipe seems like the best keto mayo brand of all, based on the proclaimed list of ingredients.
Even though it’s owned by a giant (Kraft Heinz), it seems like the parent company committed to making more steps towards consumers who choose a healthier lifestyle.
The ingredients are avocado oil, organic cage-free eggs, organic eggs yolks, organic vinegar, sea salt, rosemary extract. And macros for 1 tablespoon of mayo are the following: 100 calories, 15mg of cholesterol, 0g of carbs, 11g of fats (including 1.5g of “bad” saturated ones).
How to make homemade keto mayo?
As we’ve established, mayo is very keto in the first place. If only you could swap a few less healthy ingredients, you can develop a delish and super healthy homemade mayonnaise option. Use oils like avocado and olive for your recipe. Ditch the sugar altogether. And I would personally avoid eggs as well. And not even as a vegan.
Since you are using raw eggs in homemade mayo recipes, there’s a very high probability that your masterpiece will contain salmonella bacteria. Even despite different acidic compounds used.
Best keto mayo recipe
Thanks for the graphics: Canva.com
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