When you think of a turkey sandwich or a pasta salad, you probably think of mayonnaise – but you probably don’t think of the toll it might be taking on your diet. Adding just the extra touch of flavor a dish needs, mayo may seem innocent enough, but it’s actually loaded with not-so-good-for-you ingredients.
One cup of mayonnaise has a whopping 1,440 calories, 160 grams of fat and 24 grams of saturated fat, along with nearly half of your daily recommended serving of sodium, according to the Food Network. While you may add a cup of mayo to a big bowl of pasta salad, even a small serving of the spread still packs a punch – 1 tablespoon of mayo still has 12 grams of fat and 103 calories.
A smart, balanced diet will reduce the amount of mayonnaise used. But an even better option is to eliminate mayo entirely and instead use healthy alternatives that still deliver delicious flavor to your turkey sandwich. Luckily, there are many mayo alternatives that you can take advantage of – read on to learn about four great options:
- Greek yogurt
Smooth and creamy, Greek yogurt makes an excellent mayo alternative. It lightens up tuna and chicken salads, makes a fresh dip and adds cool flavor to sandwiches, all while adding extra protein to your meal. Choose low- or no-sugar plain Greek yogurt as your mayo replacement – you can enjoy as is or mix in natural flavorings like fresh herbs and garlic to jazz it up.
1 cup of mayo has a whopping 1,440 calories.
Aioli does not belong just to the realm of trendy restaurants - you can enjoy this delicious spread that has its roots in France in your own kitchen. While mayonnaise is typically made from canola oil, egg yolk, vinegar and lemon juice, aioli is made from a base of garlic cloves that have been made into a paste with a mortar and pestle, Food Republic explained. The garlic paste is then blended with egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard and - a key difference from mayo - antioxidant-rich olive oil, not canola oil. To make aioli even healthier, you can replace the oil with yogurt.
Aioli enhances a variety of dishes, from seafood to sandwiches, and is a great dip with vegetables. Here's a tasty recipe for light and healthy garlic aioli from Blender Babes that will become a new lunchtime staple:
Light and Healthy Garlic Aioli
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon Celtic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Place ingredients into the blender and secure the lid.
2. Blend until smooth. Keep covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Add pesto to your sandwiches instead of mayonnaise for a burst of flavor.
Naturally creamy, avocado is a great substitute for mayonnaise. It has a variety of health benefits, containing high levels of potassium, fiber and heart-healthy fats along with a variety of important vitamins and nutrients. Mashed avocado adds extra flavor to sandwiches, or can be used to make egg salad or pasta salad - mix the avocado with garlic or lemon juice to create an extra-flavorful spread.
Looking for a sandwich spread that will dazzle? Try pesto, recommended FitDay. Made with spinach, pine nuts, basil and olive oil, pesto adds rich flavor to meals without the extra fat and calories found in mayonnaise. Try pesto on a caprese sandwich made with mozzarella, basil and tomato, or with sliced turkey, caramelized onion and goat cheese. You can also mix pesto into pasta salads for a light and flavorful side dish.