It’s lunch time and you want a sandwich. What is your favorite? Whether it’s homemade, from a deli, made with tuna, ham, turkey or maybe chicken salad, the common denominator dressing is usually good ol’ fashion… mayonnaise. For most of us, our sandwich just isn’t the same without it.. not to mention mayo’s leading role in potato salad, hamburgers, deviled eggs and a million other recipes.
Now, we all want to benefit from the nutrition in our food without sacrificing the taste, but let’s take a look at mayonnaise and how it compares to another healthier option, creamy avocados.
The main ingredients in mayonnaise are egg yolks, oil and vinegar. Most commercial brands of mayo are made with soybean oil because of its low cost. It can also be made with olive oil. Homemade mayo can be stored for about 3 days, while store bought mayo can last for weeks in the fridge because of the preservatives. The basics to making mayonnaise is suspending the oil into the egg yolk and using vinegar or mustard to keep it suspended.
We use mayonnaise for many recipes because it adds a nice flavor and moistness to dry foods like bread, but it comes with a cost… “the bad fat“.
So What Do Avocados Have To Offer?
First and foremost, avocados have a similar consistency to mayonnaise. Just slice the fruit, remove the seed, mash up the green flesh and stir it until smooth. Add a little lemon juice and it will be even closer to the taste. The green hue might take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it 🙂
A 2 tbsp. serving of avocado has half the amount of calories as mayonnaise. The calories eaten from an avocado are packed full of 20 vitamins and minerals. They contain many nutrients our bodies need, all wrapped up by Mother Nature.
First, Let’s Look at The Mighty Avocado…
8% of your daily fiber
No sugar or cholesterol
Very low sodium
Vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Choline, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
Now Let’s Look at How Mayonnaise Stacks Up…
0% of your daily fiber
2g of sugar
7 mg cholesterol 2%
199 mg. Sodium 8%
Vitamins A, K, b12, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorus, Selenium
I think the comparison speaks for itself. The mighty avocado wins by a landslide in this department.
How About The Fats?
Both mayonnaise and avocados offer you a serving of your daily needed fat intake. A 2 tbsp. serving of avocado offers up 6% of your daily intake, while mayonnaise is 14%. Both sources contain saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Now without getting too much into the technicalities of fat contents, here is the make-up and how it affects you:
1 serving saturated fat content: Avocado=0.6 g vs. Mayonnaise=1.4 g
1 serving monounsaturated fat content: Avocado=2.7g vs. Mayonnaise=2.5 g.
1 serving polyunsaturated fat content: Avocado= 0.5g vs. Mayonnaise= 5 g
Avocados have a balanced ratio of fats that are ideal for your body. Low in polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Higher in monounsaturated fat.
Mayonnaise (made with soybean oil) has a higher fat content that is unbalanced, heavy on the polyunsaturated fats side. These fats offer Omega 3’s and 6’s that can be beneficial, but this kind of fat chain is unstable and causes cell damage. It should be consumed in moderation.
*Mayonnaise can have a more balanced ratio of fats when 100% olive oil is used.
Round 3: Helping or Hurting?
Our bodies have a strong defense system that is ready for action at any sign of attack. Anything the body sees as harmful, sets off an inflammatory signal that we need protection! If we keep triggering our immune system to fight, it leads to chronic inflammation with problems such as low energy, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and increased chance of infections. The most common causes of inflammation from food are:
- Vegetable oil
- Refined sugars and starches
- Red meat
- Preservatives and chemical additives
Mayonnaise contains preservatives and vegetable oil that trigger a mild inflammation response.
There is good news! There are foods that can reduce inflammation and quiet down that response. These foods are:
- Flax Seed
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Shiitake mushrooms
Avocados Come Out Ahead
By replacing mayonnaise with avocado you are helping your body out two-fold. That is 3 for 3 for avocado! There’s the facts when it comes to avocado and mayonnaise, the choice for your next sandwich is in your hands.