Can People with Diabetes Eat Mayonnaise?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Mayo and Blood Sugar

Diabetes occurs when your body no longer produces the hormone insulin or becomes resistant to its effects. Insulin regulates blood sugar (or glucose) levels. High blood sugar levels over time may lead to heart disease, nerve damage and even blindness, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). What you eat plays an important role in keeping your blood sugar balanced, helping to keep complications at bay, per the ADA.

Read more: Calculating Daily Carbs When You're Managing Diabetes

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Mayonnaise is a polyunsaturated fat the type that's considered a "healthy" fat and should replace saturated fats in your diet, like what you get from red meat and butter, Greene says. Other sources of polyunsaturated fat include corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and walnuts, according to the ADA.

However, there's a caveat when it comes to mayonnaise if you have diabetes, Greene adds. "Many people with diabetes also need to watch their calories to maintain a normal weight, and every tablespoon of mayonnaise has about 100 calories," she says.

Mayo and Heart Health

Diabetes and obesity often occur together, and the two are considered major risk factors for heart disease. Maintaining a normal weight can help reduce this risk, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

For these reasons, the ADA suggests replacing regular mayonnaise with mustard, yogurt or a mix of yogurt and mayonnaise for fewer calories and more nutrients.

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Olive oil and other healthy monounsaturated fats may lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad" cholesterol) levels when substituted for saturated or trans fats, and some research suggests that it may improve blood sugar control, too, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Best Mayo for People With Diabetes

If you love mayo, consider buying healthier types, according to Ochsner Health, a Louisiana health care system. Its recommendations below each contain 35 to 50 calories per tablespoon, with less than 1 gram of sugar and 0 to 1 grams of saturated fat:

  • Hellmann's Light ($4.99 for 30 oz., Target; $5.99, Amazon)
  • Blue Plate Light (from $3.59, Amazon)
  • Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo with Olive Oil ($3.58, Walmart)
  • Spectrum Light Canola Mayo ($5.96, Walmart; $6.09, Instacart)
  • Vegenaise Reduced Fat Mayo ($6.39, Instacart)

Another option would be to make your own mayo at home, giving you more control over the ingredients, according to the American Heart Association, which suggests this recipe:

Homemade Mayonnaise

Things You'll Need

1 large egg

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1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup canola or safflower oil (or 3/4 cup canola or safflower oil and 1/4 cup olive oil)

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1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Makes 24 servings

Read more on: livestrong, mayonnaise, diabetes

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