Mayonnaise and Diabetes

Mayonnaise
An overhead view of a crock of mayonnaise and ingredients. (Image: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images)

If you have diabetes, choosing the right foods to control your blood sugar levels is not always easy to do. You might have made a lot of changes to your diet already and now wonder if you also have to eliminate other foods, such as mayonnaise, to optimize your blood sugar control. Mayonnaise is commonly used as a spread on sandwiches, to prepare salads or as a base for dips.

Mayonnaise and Diabetes

Mayonnaise falls in the category of fats and oils, and contains almost no carbohydrates; 1 tbsp. of regular mayonnaise contains 103 calories and 11.7 g of fat, but no protein or carbohydrates, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Because only carbs can directly influence your blood sugar levels after a meal, regular mayonnaise does not boost your blood sugar levels and therefore does not interfere with your diabetes control. However, the foods you eat your mayonnaise with, such as potato salad, a sandwich or french fries, can definitely influence your blood sugar levels.

Reduced-Calorie Mayonnaise

Some reduced-calorie, low-fat or fat-free mayonnaises are manufactured to decrease their fat content, but to compensate for the lack of taste, small amounts of sugar are often added. For example, 1 tbsp. of reduced-calorie mayonnaise contains 49 calories, 4.9 g of fat and 1 g of carbs. In the same serving, you get half the calories and fat, but with carbs added. It might not seem like a lot, but many people using low-fat or light products end up using more. For example, some people might use up to 4 tbsp. in their sandwiches or salad, which adds up to 4 g of carbs, enough to include in dietary carb counting for diabetics.

Fats

The types of fats found in mayonnaises vary according to the type of oil used. Most mayonnaises are made with soybean oil, which is rich in polyunsaturated fats. Ideally, monounsaturated fats should be consumed in larger amounts compared with polyunsaturated fats, and choosing a mayo containing olive oil might be a better option. Look at the label to see what oil was used, and examine the nutrition facts table to ensure it contains more monounsaturated than polyunsaturated fats.

Make Your Own Mayonnaise

Making your own mayonnaise is a good way to avoid added sugar and artificial ingredients, and have the flexibility to choose your own oil. Although it might be intimidating at first, it is easier than you might think. Start by beating 1 to 2 egg yolks and slowly pour in 3/4 cup of oil to emulsify it as you pour, whisking constantly. Do not use extra-virgin olive oil, as the taste is too strong, but you can use either 1 cup of regular olive oil or any combinations of olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil and canola oil. Season with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Your homemade mayo will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

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