But most mayonnaise contains vinegar and other ingredients that make it acidic, and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from low-acid ingredients like chicken and seafood.
One study published in The Journal of Food Protection found that in the presence of mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad slowed down or stopped completely. The more mayonnaise used, the more the rate of growth decreased. It turns out mayonnaise may not be the culprit after all if someone comes down with food poisoning after your summer cookout. More likely, it’s factory-farmed ground beef or conventional chicken that’s to blame.
But before you use that as a carte blanche to load up your diet with unlimited mayonnaise, listen up. Most store-bought mayonnaise is not going to produce high levels of health and it’s not because of the fat.
Most mayonnaise is not good for you because the first ingredient (and therefore the most plentiful ingredient) it contains is soybean oil.
Soybean Oil Should be on Your “Do Not Eat” List
Most people mistakenly believe that vegetable oils like soybean oil are good for them. And the edible oil industry has actually taken great pains (and great amounts of money) to ensure that this is so.
Vegetable oils are problematic not only because they easily become oxidized or rancid when exposed to heat from cooking -- leading to free radical damage in your body -- but also because Americans are consuming them in unprecedented amounts -- up to 100 times greater than in the past.
This is concerning because vegetable oils are rich in omega-6 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. This is what past generations thrived on for thousands of years. Today, largely as a result of consuming far too many omega-6 fats and too few omega-3 fats, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 50:1!
You may not think that you use much vegetable oil from day to day, however if you eat processed foods you are consuming large amounts of vegetable oils. The vast majority of foods on your supermarket shelves -- from tomato sauce to bread and, of course, mayonnaise -- contain them.
Cancer, heart disease, asthma and blindness are just a few of the health problems linked to an excess of omega-6 fats. So keep that in mind next time you pick up a jar of store-bought mayonnaise.
What Else is Wrong With Store-Bought Mayonnaise?
Soybean oil specifically is especially problematic as if it is not labeled organic you can be GUARANTEED that it is GMO soy and sprayed with loads of toxic pesticides that easily accumulate in the oil because they are fat-soluble.
Aside from the soybean oil, most commercial mayonnaise also contains preservatives, “natural flavors” (which may contain MSG), sugar and eggs. While eggs are not normally unhealthy at all, when they are pasteurized (as all commercial mayonnaises are) they become damaged and not something I would recommend eating.
Love Mayonnaise? There’s Good News …
Homemade mayonnaise is not only incredibly easy to make, it can actually be quite good for your health. A basic mayonnaise recipe uses just a few ingredients:
- Egg yolks
- Vinegar or lemon juice
Another option that I personally use is a grape-seed oil mayonnaise, which I enjoy very much and is available in most health food stores in the refrigerated section.