Never Buy Fat-Free Mayo – Here’s Why…

As a business owner, I live by a code..."when your customers talk, you listen" so I went to the local supermarket and evaluated a number of mayonnaise options. After perusing a number of options, I came up with two candidates:

The majority of the calories in the dish could be attributed to the mayonnaise and dressing which utilized a healthy olive oil as a base. They then asked if it was possible to use a fat-free mayo in place of the standard mayo to bring down the calorie count.

At the time, we used a brand-named mayo which I estimated contributed approximately 180 calories (2 Tablespoons) per serving of chicken salad. The chicken-salad was normally served atop a large bowl of organic field greens and came with a homemade dressing on the side.

One of the favorite items on our menu is our chicken-salad and recently someone asked me about the type of mayo that we use in making the dish...

Many of you know that I own a natural-foods restaurant called The Flying Avocado Cafe and one of my many responsibilities involves making sure that the food is as healthy as possible.

  1. Fat-Free Mayonnaise (From Kraft & Helmans)
  2. Reduced-calorie/Reduced-fat Mayonnaise (From Kraft & Helmans)

I started by looking at the nutrient facts...

In this stage of the mayonnaise battle, the fat-free version came out on top having just 10 calories per tablespoon.

The Reduced-Calorie Mayonnaise contained approximately half of the calories of normal mayonnaise with between 35 and 45 calories per tablespoon. Many people end the analysis here as they declare the fat-free version the winner, however, we ALWAYS want to look at the actual ingredients before we choose a product. We want to make sure that we are eating REAL food rather than non-foods built in a laboratory.

Unfortunately for the Fat-Free version, high-fructose corn syrup was one of the ingredients listed.

As you may know, high-fructose corn syrup is on the list of BANNED SUBSTANCES! I looked at both brands of fat-free mayonnaise and both contained high-fructose corn syrup as a core ingredient.

Which Mayo Should You Choose?

In my opinion, I would much rather have a few extra calories of a product that contained "clean" ingredients rather than fewer calories of nutritional junk!

Incidentally, I brought the reduced-calorie mayo back to the test kitchen and had the chef whip up a batch of the reduced-calorie chicken salad...

I then tested the new recipe versus the current recipe which used regular mayo. The majority of people loved both and many could not tell the difference.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on healthy eating!

I'm really interested in what our readers and listeners have to say on the subject! Leave your comments below.