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We Tasted 5 Mayos & This Is the Best

America's favorite condiment—before sriracha, at least—gets put to the test.
various jars of mayo on blue background

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 best mayonnaise? 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; I used a hearty loaf of Trader Joe's Soft Whole Wheat Bread. I also judged the mayos based on nutrition, ingredients, appearance and texture, and taste, and determined the best one. And because you're already curious about the primo mayo, you might want to find out if your pantry is stocked up on any of these best and worst condiments for weight loss.

How we graded them

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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, the 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, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, <1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Modified Food Starch, Egg Yolks, Salt, Eggs, Natural Flavor, Mustard Flour, Potassium Sorbate (to protect flavor), Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Phosphoric Acid, Oleoresin Paprika

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, and calcium disodium EDTA—made Kraft's cut.

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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, Egg Yolks, Modified Potato Starch, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), Natural Flavor, Paprika Extract

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. But regardless of the slight greasy mouthfeel, I can't complain about this pick's flavor because 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 halt its stardom.

3

Hellman's Real Mayonnaise

Hellmans Real Mayonnaise

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (13 g) : 90 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 90 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Water, Whole Eggs, Egg Yolks, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), Natural Flavors

Appearance & Consistency: As it should be, a dollop of this 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 weren'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 transport you back to your childhood, but Hellmann's doesn't "bring out the best" as it claims. Sorry, but "real" mayo shouldn't have Calcium Disodium EDTA.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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), 125 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 fiber, 0 sugar), 0 g protein

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

Appearance & Consistency: Primal Kitchen's condiment harbored a 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 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 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, which is why it didn't rank as our number one best mayonnaise.

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.

1

Sir Kensington's Organic Mayonnaise

Sir Kensingtons Organic Mayonnaise

Nutrition: Per 1 Tbsp (13 g): 100 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 90 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Certified Humane Free-Range Egg Yolks, Water, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Fair Trade Organic Sugar, Organic Lemon Juice

Appearance & Consistency: At first glance, this condiment looks dense, but once you poke a utensil into it, you'll likely admire its 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 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. Our best mayonnaise is the type of condiment 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 USDA-certified, certified humane, gluten-free, and kosher ingredients, this is "The One" that'll work wonderfully in many diets and please most palates.

 

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