Mayonnaise can be found in almost every kitchen across the country. It can be used in sandwiches to guacamole to chocolate cake!
Some women even use it in their hair to increase shine and repair damage. But most families don’t take the time to read the labels of their favorite brand.
It’s actually shockingly difficult to find mayonnaise in the supermarket that isn’t laced with harmful substances.
What’s Commercial Mayonnaise Made Of ?
The following ingredients have been found in the two biggest brands of mayonnaise in the United States: Duke’s (2) and Hellman’s (3).
1. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a hydrogenated oil made from rapeseed by forcing hydrogen gas into the oil at high pressure.
Hydrogenated oil are high in trans fat. These fats raises your LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and lowers your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). This combination increases your risk of heart disease (5).
You can learn more about the why this practice makes canola oil so bad for your health here.
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2. Soybean Oil
Soybean oil is also hydrogenated. It’s also one of the most genetically modified crops in the United States and throughout the world. As of 2015, 94% of the soy grown in the USA is genetically engineered (6).
Genetically modified crops are made to be resistant to herbicides and pesticides, like glyphosate.
Soybeans absorb glyphosate entirely, storing in its beans, leaves and stalk. Even soybeans grown on areas with no application of glyphosate, have been shown to contain glyphosate (7).
This harsh chemical negatively affects gut bacteria and has been linked to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (8).
3. Calcium Disodium EDTA
EDTA is a preservative often found in processed foods and canned foods, like beans and tomatoes.
The chemical is cytotoxic, meaning that it’s toxic to cells. It’s also genotoxic, meaning that it damages the genetic information of cells, causing mutations and potentially, cancer (9).
EDTA has produced adverse reproductive and developmental effects in animals. As if that wasn’t bad enough, ingesting it can also increase the absorption of other chemicals, making them more toxic (9).
4. Potassium Sorbate
Also known as sorbic acid, potassium sorbate is a preservative which helps ward off mold and fungus. In large quantities, it can cause diarrhea and nutrient malabsorption (10).
The preversative has been shown to be genotoxic to white blood cells, meaning that it can impair the immune system’s ability to fight off disease and can even cause autoimmune disorders (11).
5. High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is typically made from GMO corn.
High levels of fructose can cause fat buildup in liver cells and lead to non-acoholic fatty liver disease, a condition which can lead to liver scarring and liver failure (12).
High fructose levels in the liver can also (12):
- Elevate triglycerides
• Increase harmful LDL
• Promote the buildup of fat around organs (visceral fat)
• Increase blood pressure
• Lead to insulin resistance
• Increases the production of free radicals, which damages DNA
And there’s more to worry about:
Commercial mayonnaise is cold pasteurized to make is shelf-stable (13). The process exposes food to a high dose of energy ionizing radiation using Gamma rays, X-rays or electron beam radiation (14).
The health effect of cold pasteurization aren’t fully known, but researchers are skeptical of its safety.
In fact, the journal International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health published study which concluded (15):
“Food irradiation is being promoted as a simple process that can be used to effectively and significantly reduce food-borne illnesses around the world. However, a thorough review of the literature reveals a paucity of adequate research conducted to specifically address health concerns that may directly result from the consumption of irradiated food.”
How To Make Your Own Mayonnaise
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups of olive oil or avocado oil
- In a food processor blend yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and salt together. You can also add a tablespoon of water to help emulsify the mayonnaise.
- Blend the ingredients for a couple of seconds, just two pulses should be enough.
- Slowly drizzle the oil into the mix as the food processor is running at medium speed. If the oil is added too quickly, the mayonnaise will not emulsify or thicken.
- Adjust to taste with lemon juice and salt. You can also add a little apple cider vinegar for a more tangy flavor.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy alternative to soybean or canola oil.
This fat improves blood cholesterol levels, prevents insulin resistance and lowers blood pressure (16).
If its flavor is too strong for your taste, feel free to replace olive oil with avocado oil, which is just as healthy but milder.
You can also add a little turmeric or paprika to adjust the flavor.