Best & Worst

We Tested 5 Mayos, And This Is The Best!

America’s favorite condiment—before Sriracha, at least—gets put to the test.

Best & Worst

We Tested 5 Mayos, And This Is The Best!

America’s favorite condiment—before Sriracha, at least—gets put to the test.

Say what you will about mayo—and, judging from reactions in my office, opinions range from nostalgically affectionate to gag-me-with-a-spoon—it holds an irreplaceable spot in my heart. It’s smooth, indulgent, versatile, and if you pick the right one, it can skyrocket your sandwich game from average to out of this world!

So what exactly constitutes the “right mayo”? Our top taste tester at Eat This, Not That! (insert person raising hand emoji here) tested five popular eggy condiment brands.

Before you plan a pity party, let’s clear things up: I didn’t test the spreads on their own. We used a hearty loaf of Trader Joe’s Soft Whole Wheat Bread. I also judged the mayos based on Nutrition, Clean Ingredients, Appearance and Texture, and Taste, and determined the best one. And since you’re already curious about the primo mayo, you might want to find out if your pantry is stocked up on any of these 25 Best and Worst Condiments for Weight Loss.

How We Graded Them

pen marking report

Here are the four metrics we used to determine each mayo’s final grade.

Nutrition

You may think grabbing the lighter mayo will save you calories and fat, and it will—but at your belly’s expense. Choosing the right mayo means disregarding the calories and going for the one that boasts the best healthy fats.

Clean Ingredients

Skip the jars that contain ingredients not normally found in mayo—basically anything with scientific-sounding names. And in the rare occasion where morals surpass marketing, some jars even point out these franken-gredients by adorning them with asterisks, so keep an eye out!

Appearance & Consistency

Is your mayo’s texture undifferentiable from goop or is its sallow color throwing you off? If it’s slimy versus silky, that’s just one hint to toss out the jar (we’ll help you with the rest).

Taste

After all, taste is always the top determining factor. Mayo, in all of its unapologetically creamy glory, should upgrade anything you schmear it on. Yup, even your fingers… if that’s how you roll.

From Worst… To Best


5

Kraft Light Mayo

Kraft Light Mayo

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (15 g): 35 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 95 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Modified Food Starch, Vinegar, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Salt, Natural Flavor, Eggs, Mustard Flour, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (to protect flavor), Phosphoric Acid, Dried Onions, Dried Garlic, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Beta-Carotene (color)

Appearance & Consistency: Let’s begin with Kraft Light Mayo’s overly acidic smell; it practically screamed “don’t try me!” But I didn’t heed its advice. I dipped a plastic knife into the goopy mess, and after it almost bounced back, spread it on a piece of whole wheat toast with ease.

Taste: This light mayo tastes like exactly what it’s called: light. One layer is unsatisfyingly thin, it lacks a rich mouthfeel, and the taste is just too tangy.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Kraft’s low-cal rendition doesn’t make me want to whip up deviled eggs or a bowl of coleslaw. And looking at the ingredient list, we think it’s better kept on the supermarket shelves than tossed in your cart. Questionable offenders that replaced the skimmed-out fat—like Potassium Sorbate, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA, and Maltodextrin—made Kraft’s cut.

Buy it now for $12.90 per 30 oz. jar at Amazon.com.

4

Hellmann's Mayonnaise With Olive Oil

Hellmanns Mayonnaise With Olive Oil

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (14 g): 60 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 125 mg sodium, <1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Olive Oil, Whole Eggs and Egg Yolks, Modified Potato Starch, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA (Used to Protect Quality), Natural Flavor, Paprika Oleoresin

Appearance & Consistency: Surprisingly enough, Hellman’s Mayo with Olive Oil had a bit of oil separation sort of like natural peanut butter does, except this spread is nothing close to natural. Hellmann’s is thicker than Kraft Light and a lot creamier, too.

Taste: Rather than tasting delicate olive oil flavor notes, I got a bit more salt than I bargained for. Regardless of its slight greasy mouthfeel, I can’t complain about this pick’s flavor since it’s not too tangy or pungent.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Don’t be fooled by the popular brand’s smart marketing: this spread has more inflammatory soybean oil than slimming olive oil. Plus, it’s still lighter than most, which means it’s home to many unwholesome ingredients that are thrown in to replace the missing fats. Taste-wise, we give this one a thumbs up, but its not-so-favorable ingredients definitely halt its stardom.

Buy it now for $3.50 per 30 oz. jar at Amazon.com.

3

Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise

Hellmans Real Mayonnaise

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (14 g) : 100 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fat), 95 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Water, Whole Eggs and Egg Yolks, Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (Used to Protect Quality), Natural Flavors

Appearance & Consistency: As it should, a dollop of this OG bestseller is super fluffy and spreads well on its carby vessel.

Taste: Just a tad tangy and boasts a pleasantly mild taste. If only the scent wasn’t so off putting. This “real” mayo smells vinegary, so if you’ve got a habit of smelling your food before you taste it, avoid this.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Stirring this full-fat mayo into ketchup (hello, ultimate French fry dip!) may nostalgically transport you back to your childhood, but Hellmann’s definitely doesn’t “bring out the best” as it claims. Sorry, but real mayo shouldn’t have Calcium Disodium EDTA.

Buy it now for $3.99 per 30 oz. jar at Amazon.com.

2

Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil

Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (15 g): 100 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 115 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 fiber, 0 sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Organic Cage-Free Eggs, Organic Cage-Free Egg Yolks, Organic Vinegar, Sea Salt, Organic Rosemary Extract

Appearance & Consistency: Primal Kitchen’s condiment harbored a very distinct scent that hovered between briny and slightly fishy—not the most appetizing precursor to taste. It was a shade of cream darker than any of the other mayos, but what was most noticeable was its gelatinous texture. This mayo literally jiggled like Jell-O, and although it was very creamy, the spread separated into tiny globs when stirred.

Taste: The most adequate description: sour. This first avocado oil-based mayo (ever!) was ever-so-slightly salty and had a lingering flavor, perhaps due to the heart-healthy oil. We’re guessing this one’s an acquired taste.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Despite the inclusion of avocado oil, this mayo was neither green nor tasted like guac (sorry!). But it did spread well and add the creamy factor you’re feigning for. The best part? According to a report in Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition, avocado oil helps promote healthy blood lipid profiles and can “enhance the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the avocado or other fruits and vegetables, naturally low in fat, which are consumed with avocados.” So instead of opting for a squirt of bottled ranch, dress your salad greens with a tablespoon of this nutritious mayo mixed with a few squeezes of lemon juice. Delish.

Buy it now for $14.95 per 16 oz. jar at Amazon.com.

1

Sir Kensington's Organic Mayonnaise

Sir Kensingtons Organic Mayonnaise

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (14 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 85 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Egg Yolks, Water, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Sugar, Salt, Organic Ground Mustard, Organic Black Pepper

Appearance & Consistency: At first glance, this condiment looks dense, but once you poke a utensil into it, you’ll likely admire it’s delightful fluffiness. While most mayos are just plain cream-colored, this one’s got added flair with specks of organic black pepper.

Taste: This pick tastes like mayo should and makes us question whether the others are even deserving of the being dubbed “mayonnaise.” Sir K. is silky, perfectly tangy, and doesn’t overpower the bread but rather blends harmoniously with it. Last but definitely not least: it smells like egg salad!

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Sorry bachelors, Sir Kensington stole our hearts. This is the type of mayo you want to take to picnic dates and introduce to your beloved burgers. With less saturated fat than the other options and its winning qualities such as non-GMO-verified, USDA-certified, certified humane, gluten-free, and kosher ingredients, this is “The One” that’ll work wonderfully in many diets and please most palates.

Buy it now for $19.99 per 2-pack of 16 oz. jars at Amazon.com.