Mayonnaise is one of those condiments that is very polarizing. You either absolutely love it or hate it. It’s rare that people are indifferent about the condiment. I used to hate mayonnaise because my parents put it on every single sandwich they’d make me, and it would be an overwhelming amount.
But mayonnaise is a great cooking tool for a variety of things.
It’s delicious in potato and pasta salads, on burgers, sandwiches, and more that you probably don’t think about. If you have acid reflux disease, you’re probably trying to think about what foods and condiments you need to cut out of your diet or at least minimize. What about mayo?
Is Mayonnaise Acidic?
The answer to that question may be good news if you hate mayo but bad if you enjoy it. Mayonnaise is acidic. The pH of mayonnaise is approximately 4. It can vary from 3.8 to 4.2, but the average pH is around 4. Regardless, all of those numbers indicate mayonnaise is acidic.
Mayonnaise is made with eggs and vinegar. Both eggs and vinegar are acidic components, which makes sense as to why mayo is acidic too.
Can I Eat Mayonnaise with Acid Reflux?
Well, technically, you can eat whatever you want with acid reflux. But, if you’re looking for foods and condiments that will limit your uncomfortable symptoms from acid reflux disease, you may want to avoid or at least limit the about of mayo you’re consuming.
If you can’t imagine eating a sandwich without mayonnaise, a good option would be to choose low-fat mayonnaise. Since fatty foods tend to be acidic, choosing a lower fat option may reduce the symptoms you experience while eating it.
If you have severe symptoms from your acid reflux, eating mayonnaise may not be a good idea for you. Listen to your body and if you feel okay while eating mayonnaise, then feel free to continue. But, if you’re getting painful symptoms from eating it, it’s better to avoid it.
You can always discuss this with your physician to better understand what’s right for your body.
Is Mayonnaise Good for You?
Even if you know next to nothing about mayonnaise, you probably assume it’s not that great for you. If that’s the assumption you have, you are correct. Keep in mind that everything is okay for you in moderation. But, overall, mayonnaise isn’t great for us.
Traditional mayonnaise has roughly 40% oil which is more than what the human body needs a day.
One single serving of mayonnaise has about 90 calories, and it’s high in fat since it’s made with egg yolks and oils. Some low-fat and vegan options aren’t nearly as terrible for you, but they don’t always have the same taste as traditional mayo.
Where Did Mayonnaise Come From?
Whether you love it or hate it, mayonnaise didn’t just fall from the sky. If you’ve ever wondered where this condiment came from, I have a story for you.
The mayonnaise as we know it today didn’t appear until the 1800s in France when someone combined eggs, vinegar, and oil. But, historians have reason to believe that ancient civilizations in Egypt and Rome used a combination of oil and eggs way before a chef in France made this concoction.
Many Condiments Use Mayonnaise as a Base
I hate to break this to all you mayonnaise haters, but a lot of your favorite condiments use mayo as their base. If you say you hate mayonnaise, you may rethink your opinion when you find out which condiments use mayo as the base. Here are a few condiments that traditionally use mayonnaise as the base:
- Ranch dressing
- Tartar sauce
- Thousand Island dressing
Of course, there are ways to make these sauces and condiments without mayonnaise if you really can’t stand it or are avoiding it because of your acid reflux.
Mayonnaise Loving Countries
Mayonnaise was and still is a very popular condiment in Europe. In fact, in the Netherlands, it’s more common to see people dipping their French fries in mayonnaise than ketchup. In many parts of the world, it’s hard to imagine that mayonnaise is the most popular condiment, but it definitely is in some countries.
For those of you who love mayo, check out these mayonnaise-loving countries!
Russia is by far the top country that loves mayonnaise. Following behind Russia are the majority of Eastern European countries, including Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland, and Latvia. Some Western European countries that love this creamy condiment are the Netherlands and Belgium.
Whether you’re searching for a substitute for mayonnaise because it’s acidic or because you can’t stand the texture or taste, there’s plenty of options available for you. There are vegan mayonnaise options and other products that are nothing like mayonnaise but work well with common dishes that mayonnaise goes in.
Greek yogurt is a fantastic mayo alternative. It’s much healthier for you, but it mimics the look of mayo. It’s still silky and provides that slightly tangy taste the mayonnaise has too. Next time you’re eating a burger or sandwich, adding some Greek yogurt to it may change your outlook.
Low fat cottage cheese is another substitute for mayo. It has many of the same properties as Greek yogurt that is another alternative, but it’s a little saltier, making it great to use in potato and pasta salads.
The tzatziki sauce is one of my favorite substitutes for mayonnaise. This blend of yogurt, dill, cucumber, garlic, and lemon is a delicious sauce that goes well on anything you would typically put mayonnaise on. It’s great to dip French fries in, slather on a burger, or use as a base for your potato salad.
Other Uses for Mayo
Did you know that you can use mayonnaise for so much more than as a condiment on your food? You can use mayonnaise as a cleaning product. It’s handy in removing dirt on your floor and walls, as a hair mask to make your hair feel softer and silkier, or even as an exfoliant for your skin.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.