Avocado Oil Mayo vs. Regular Mayo: Is One Healthier Than the Other?
Here are the nutrition and benefits of avocado oil mayonnaise, how it stacks up against regular mayo, and a few favourite brands to try.
Some people baked sourdough and turned browning bananas into banana bread during the Covid-19 pandemic. Others, it seems, broadened their home cooking with a little mayo. Mayonnaise sales increased as more consumers made meals at home during the pandemic, according to a 2021 report from market research firm IBIS World. If you’re a fan of this creamy concoction, you’re probably aware that mayo is traditionally made with oil, eggs, vinegar, and lemon. Soybean oil is the usual choice, but now there’s a new kid on the block. Mayonnaise made with avocado oil is sprouting up at numerous markets and online grocers. The driver: our avocado obsession.
Avocados are a hot commodity in Canada and the United States. The demand for the decadent but healthful “butter fruit” has climbed steadily, with a triple increase in per capita consumption since 2001, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This growing avocado admiration has led to a range of new products made with avocado oil, from chips to condiments. Apart from being trendy, these products may offer key health benefits.
One thing to keep in mind if you follow a vegan or plant-based diet—most avocado mayo contains eggs (more on that in a bit). If that’s important to you, check the label to look for products made without animal-based ingredients.
Avocado oil mayo vs. regular mayo
If you’re wondering whether avocado oil mayo is healthier than regular mayo, it’s complicated. Currently, there isn’t research that compares the health outcomes of replacing polyunsaturated fat (in regular mayo) with monounsaturated fat (in avocado oil mayo). However, there is a multitude of research on the benefits of adding avocado oil to your diet. From a strictly nutritional standpoint, here’s how avocado oil and typical mayo stack up:
Avocado oil mayo nutrition facts
Below are the nutrients and percent of recommended daily value (DV) for one tablespoon (15 grams) of Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil vegan mayo, which doesn’t contain eggs.
- Total fat: 11 g (14 percent DV)
- Sodium: 125 milligrams (5 percent DV)
- Carbohydrates: 0 g (0 percent DV)
- Sugars: 0 g (0 percent DV)
- Protein: 0 g (0 percent DV)
Regular mayo nutrition facts
Below are the nutrients and percentages of DV for one tablespoon (13.8 g) of regular mayo salad dressing.
- Total fat: 10 g (13 percent DV)
- Sodium: 88 mg (4 percent DV)
- Carbohydrates: 0.1 g (0 percent DV)
- Sugars: 0 g (0 percent DV)
- Protein: 0 g (0 percent DV)
(Related: What Happens When You Eat Avocado Every Day)
Benefits of avocado oil
Avocados are remarkably good for you, as is the oil derived from the fruit. Nearly 70 percent of the fat extracted from avocado comes from monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, with a lower ratio from polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, according to a 2019 study in the journal Molecules. Monounsaturated fat was first discovered as beneficial during the 1960s, when researchers found that residents in Mediterranean countries experienced a low rate of heart disease despite consuming a high-fat diet. They learned that the main fat consumed in the region was monounsaturated fat, which led to the understanding that not all fats are created equal.
For heart protection, the majority of the fat you consume daily—20 percent of your total calories—should come from monounsaturated fat, per the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program. MUFAs have also been shown in research to support blood sugar regulation and healthy weight management, including reductions in waist circumference, according to studies published in Diabetes Care and Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, respectively.
How to shop for avocado oil mayo
While avocado oil mayo can be heart-healthy, it’s important to note that not all products are made the same way. Your first stop when evaluating any product should be the ingredient list. One popular brand’s ingredients include avocado oil, followed by canola and soybean oils, even though only avocado is in the product’s name. To best benefit from the healthful MUFAs avocados provide, look for products made solely with avocado oil. And keep in mind that not all avocado mayo is all natural. Avocados are associated with wholesomeness, but some brands use artificial preservatives in their formulation. The only way to scope this out is to be a label sleuth. Look for brands made with simple, recognizable ingredients.
Finally, as we mentioned, if you follow a vegan or plant-based diet, be aware that most avocado mayo contains eggs, as this ingredient is part of the standard of identity for mayo. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “standard of identity” is an agreed-upon legal definition for what a food actually is. That said, there are vegan options for avocado mayo (see below) that contain no eggs or other animal-derived additives.
(Related: How to Eat a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet)
Healthy ways to use avocado mayo
Mayo can be used in a variety of ways, including as a spread, dip, dressing, or ingredient in dishes like potato salad and slaw. You can even bake avocado oil mayo into goodies like moist cakes, cookies, and brownies. To best take advantage of the health benefits of avocado oil mayo, pair it with whole, plant-based foods.
Instead of a traditional BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), make an updated version using whole grain bread, roasted eggplant slices in place of bacon, and avocado oil mayo. Incorporate avocado oil mayo into chilled protein salads made with white beans or chickpeas as stand-ins for animal protein. Toss the mayo with a variety of chopped veggies and either spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini as an alternative to macaroni salad, or use pasta made from brown rice, quinoa, or lentils. Use a dollop of avocado oil mayo to flavour a variety of plant foods, from roasted corn on the cob to fingerling potatoes, roasted artichokes, and grilled vegetable skewers.
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