Stop the Light Mayo Lie!
Light Mayo vs. Real.
For years people have tried to convince us that light mayonnaise tastes as good as regular mayo and it’s healthier to boot. Stop it. Just stop it. Not only does it not taste like regular mayo, but it doesn’t really taste good at all. Light mayo is bad and fat free mayo is disastrously nasty. No amount of advertising and brainwashing will ever change that.
I think everyone knows this. Sure some people may say they can’t tell the difference but they are lying to us and themselves. Light mayo is palatable at best. Fat free mayo tastes like really old sneakers that have been dipped in Sasquatch sweat then slathered with crude oil from the Gulf. I’d like to tell you how I know this but some of the details from that weekend are still a little fuzzy.
But the healthy claim, where does that stand? As it turns out light mayo tastes better than it is healthy. Common ingredients in the average light mayonnaise include xanthan gum (a sugar-like compound), yellow #5 (increases levels of hyperactivity in children), modified corn/food starch (can cause constipation) and one of the most dangerous chemicals on earth High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
The body cannot metabolize HFCS so it stores it as fat cells in the liver. As a result, people with a steady intake of HFCS have liver ailments most often associated with alcoholics and there is also evidence that HFCS plays havoc with the pancreas leading to Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer. HFCS, despite what those cute but scientifically unfounded commercials tell us, is the major contributor to our obesity epidemic as HFCS causes significantly more fatty tissue growth as an equal amount of calories from table sugar.
The Corn Refiners Association sponsors those misleading TV commercials. They also maintain a website that is chock full of contrived scientific studies. I have even been flamed by packs of paid lobbyists on Twitter for expressing my distaste for their lethal product. That’s right, they actually pay people to go on Twitter and promote their product, not unlike a drug dealer on a play ground.
What I struggle with is why people think that mayo, real mayo, is so unhealthy. Sure a 1 tablespoon serving has 10 grams of fat but only saturated fat is bad for you and it only has 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Unsaturated fat is good for you especially when it contains Omega 3 fatty acids like those found in olive oil and canola oil. And here’s another secret, most people use less than that on a sandwich.
I know all 90 calories in that tablespoon serving are from fats. Though percent-calories-from-fat is a very logical theory it is still just a theory. And when applying it to practice you should really only concern yourself with the percent-calories-from-fat of the meal as a whole. Regardless of fat and caloric content nothing containing HFCS can ever be considered healthy.
But if you are still concerned about the fat, Hellmann’s makes a real mayonnaise with canola oil that has half the fat and half the calories of regular mayo and no cholesterol. That’s comparable to those HFCS tainted light mayos but the canola mayo tastes just like the real thing because it is the real thing. They just use a healthier oil. It’s the best of both worlds.
Not healthy enough for you? Consider using plain Greek yogurt instead. It’s very healthy and tastes a lot better than light or fat free mayo. And don’t even get me started on Miracle Whip. Not only is that crap not an acceptable substitute for mayonnaise but it isn’t really even food.