- What Is Mayo?
- The Problem With Store-Bought Mayonnaise
- Benefits of Homemade Mayonnaise
- Keto-Friendly Mayo: Notes and Tips
- 4-Ingredient Keto Mayonnaise Recipe
Is mayo keto? It’s a common question for those following a ketogenic lifestyle, and the answer may surprise you.
You might think this popular condiment is as keto-friendly as any condiment can be. It’s filled with fat and a healthy dose of protein.
However, the problem is that most jars of mayo you see at your local grocery store are loaded with questionable ingredients — and hidden carbs — that aren’t ideal for your health and could hinder you from reaching ketosis.
In this article, you’ll learn why you should avoid commercial mayo and how you can make your own low-carb mayonnaise that offers several potential health benefits.
After all, just because you’re keto doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one of your favorite keto condiments.
What Is Mayo?
Mayonnaise is a creamy condiment made with eggs, oil, and an acidic ingredient (usually lemon or vinegar). These elements are blended and emulsified to create a velvety and rich sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes.
There’s an ongoing debate about the origins of mayonnaise. The Spanish claim they invented it on the tiny Mediterranean island of Menorca, where it was called “mahonesa.”
Meanwhile, the French contend that this sauce was created in the town of Bayonne, and went by the name “bayonnaise.”
No matter where this creamy spread originated, mayo remains one of the most popular condiments around the world. It’s also a common ingredient for dipping sauces and salad dressings, such as Caesar and ranch.
The Problem With Store-Bought Mayonnaise
Classic mayo only contains a few ingredients — oil, eggs, and lemon juice or vinegar.
But if you pick up a jar of regular mayo in your supermarket and read the ingredients list, you’ll likely find highly-processed vegetable oils (the most common being canola oil and soybean oil), added sugars or sweeteners, and harmful preservatives.
These food additives can have damaging effects on your health, and if you’re following a keto diet they can easily kick you out of ketosis. Such food additives can quickly add up and make you go well over your net carb daily limit, without you even noticing[*].
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If you’re considering a keto diet to support your weight loss journey or to enhance your physical and mental performance, preparing your food is vital — and mayo is no exception.
Benefits of Homemade Mayonnaise
Homemade mayo can be a simple, quick way to add a velvety texture to many keto dishes. Below you’ll find a keto-friendly mayo recipe made of 4 simple ingredients: eggs, oil, salt, and lemon juice. Even though it looks pretty modest, this beauty comes packed with healthy fats and nutritional value.
#1: It Might Support Eye Health
Egg yolk is rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin. Research links these two compounds with maintaining optimal eye health and preventing age-related macular disease, which is the leading cause of blindness and impaired vision[*].
Studies have also found that organic egg yolks have a much higher concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin than conventional eggs, making for a more nutritional choice[*].
#2: It May Help to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
If you opt to use olive oil as the base for your mayo, rest assured you’ll be reaping some health benefits.
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil offers antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help prevent oxidation of your blood cholesterol and lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases[*][*].
#3: It Can Boost Your Immune System and Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Lemons are one of the few fruits that are allowed on a ketogenic diet. They deliver plenty of important nutrients such as vitamin C and fiber.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that can’t be stored by your body. However, this vitamin is vital for the optimal function of your immune system[*]. As such, consuming it on a daily basis — in products such as homemade keto mayo — is ideal for overall health.
The main fiber found in lemons is called pectin. Research has found that pectin can help in lowering blood sugar levels, which in turn may lead to improved insulin sensitivity — an important part of a successful keto diet[*].
Keto-Friendly Mayo: Notes and Tips
Is mayo keto? The answer is yes if you make it at home using keto-friendly ingredients.
Even though homemade mayonnaise is super easy to make, there are a couple of tips and tricks to make sure you can get the right consistency every time.
- To get the desired consistency of a classic mayo, you can either choose to use olive oil or avocado oil. Despite being keto-friendly, using coconut oil isn’t recommended as it will solidify your mayo once you put it in the fridge.
- Even though extra virgin olive oil is the most nutritious option, some varieties can have a strong flavor that might be a bit overpowering in something as delicate as mayonnaise. Experiment with different oil types until you find your preferred taste.
- Make sure you use an egg that is room temperature. The ideal temperature is between 70° and 80°F. This ensures that all ingredients blend effortlessly when you’re preparing the emulsion, so you don’t end up with a separated liquid mix of raw eggs and oil.
- Using an immersion blender instead of a food processor might be the way to go for DIY mayo, as you’ll have more control over how and in which order the ingredients get mixed. This is crucial to get a creamy texture.
- If you don’t have any lemons, using apple cider vinegar instead is an excellent option. This ingredient has been shown to fight fungal and microbial infections, balance your body’s pH level, and lower blood pressure[*][*].
- For a classic aioli, add minced fresh garlic clove to the mix before you start blending.
- For an extra kick of flavor, add a teaspoon of dijon mustard or a pinch of mustard powder.
- If you’re not planning to heat up or cook with your mayo, consider adding a teaspoon of MCT oil to increase its healthy fat content.
4-Ingredient Keto Mayonnaise Recipe
This 4-ingredient keto mayo is gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Keep in mind that you’re using raw egg, so after you’ve completed the recipe, make sure you immediately pop it in the fridge.
- 1 whole egg
- 1 cup of olive oil (or your oil of choice)
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- If you keep your eggs in the fridge, take one and place it on your kitchen counter until it reaches room temperature. You can accelerate the process by placing it in a bowl of warm water.
- Crack the egg and put it inside a mason jar.
- Add salt, lemon juice, and other seasonings you want to use.
- Slowly pour in your oil, so it stays on top and doesn’t mix with the egg.
- Place your immersion blender at the bottom of the jar and blend the egg thoroughly until well mixed.
- Slowly bring up your blender and start to incorporate the oil. Move the blender around to thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
- Stop to check if the consistency is right — it should be velvety and smooth.
- Enjoy your mayo straight away, or keep it in the fridge for no longer than two weeks.
A Savory Condiment for Your Keto Dishes
When you start researching keto, you might get a bit desperate at the number of things you have to remove from your diet. Luckily, mayo isn’t one of them, as long as it’s made with keto-friendly ingredients and without harmful additives.
The best way to ensure you’re getting the real deal is to take matters into your own hands and prepare it at home following the 4-ingredient mayo recipe above.
You’ll satisfy your savory cravings, nourish your body, and support ketosis.
For keto recipes that go great with your homemade mayo, have a look at these delicious options:
- Zesty Chilli Lime Keto Tuna Salad Recipe
- Keto Salad Dressing: Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
- Keto Breakfast Chaffle Sandwich