Is Vegan Mayonnaise Bad for You? Is It Healthy?

More people are striving to ditch unhealthy foods in favor of alternatives that are actually good for you. Try as we might, though, there are a few foods that we still can’t seem to let go of. Parting is such sweet sorrow.



One such food is mayonnaise. As a vegan, mayonnaise is expressly prohibited. After all, it’s a product that contains chicken eggs. There are many alternatives available, but many vegans steer clear of them due to the extreme processing involved.

But what about vegan mayo? You’ve likely heard of the buzz surrounding plant-based mayonnaise. But is it the bee’s knees, or should you wait for something better to come along? Many people are questioning whether this alternative is healthy. We had to find out for ourselves, so the Cook Gem crew got busy investigating vegan mayonnaise to bring you the facts.

What Is Vegan Mayonnaise?

We think it’s first necessary to look at the ingredients that make up traditional mayonnaise, which is typically an acid like lemon juice or vinegar and emulsified eggs.

Vegan mayo, on the other hand, consists primarily of vinegar and vegetable oil. You will find additional ingredients, as well. So let’s take a closer look at everything included in vegan mayonnaise to gain a better understanding of it.

Vegetable Oil

Different brands use different oils, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the ingredients to determine what’s what. You are likely to come across the following oils:

  • Rapeseed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil

Remember, what you find depends on the manufacturer. If you have a personal preference, you may need to do some digging to find a brand of vegan mayo that uses your oil of choice.

Vinegar

There are two main types of vinegar found in vegan mayo brands: apple cider and spirit. Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from — you guessed it — apples. The apples are first crushed and then yeast is added to ferment the natural sugars.

This process creates alcohol, which is in turn fermented by the addition of bacteria, thus creating acetic acid. If apple cider vinegar isn’t used, manufacturers will use spirit vinegar.

This type of vinegar is produced by way of double fermentation. This is achieved with cane sugar in most cases. The biggest difference here is that spirit vinegar carries a much higher amount of acetic acid.

Yellow Mustard Flour

Yellow mustard flour serves as both a binding agent and flavoring, and it works well in this capacity. To get yellow mustard flour, mustard seeds are ground into a fine powder and added to the vegan mayonnaise.

Sweetener

Vegans who prefer to stay away from artificial sweeteners will appreciate that vegan mayo uses real sugar or natural sweeteners. Such sweeteners are typically from agave syrup or brown rice.

Aquafaba

Since real mayonnaise uses eggs, vegan mayo manufacturers have to think outside of the box for egg substitutes. Enter: aquafaba.

This liquid is found in cans of chickpeas and whips up nicely to create foam. It’s this foam that acts as an egg substitute for various recipes, vegan mayonnaise included.

Additional Ingredients

Many vegan mayo manufacturers add other ingredients, ranging from preservatives to thickening agents. The good news is that any additional ingredients added to vegan mayonnaises are perfectly safe for vegan diets.

Let’s take a moment to look at a few different vegan mayo brands and the ingredients in them so you can know to expect.

Biona Egg Free Mayonnaise

Please note that all Biona Egg Free Mayo ingredients are certified organic except sea salt.

  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Onion powder
  • Glucose syrup
  • White pepper
  • Apple vinegar
  • Xanthan gum
  • Sunflower oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Agave syrup
  • Rice starch
  • Citric acid
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Vinegar
  • Fennel

Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo

  • Antioxidant (calcium disodium EDTA)
  • Natural flavoring (contains mustard)
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • Color (paprika extract)
  • Modified maize starch
  • Rapeseed oil (72%)
  • Spirit vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Heinz Vegan Seriously Good Mayonnaise

  • Antioxidant (calcium disodium EDTA)
  • Rapeseed oil 72%
  • Natural flavoring
  • Modified starch
  • Spirit vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise

  • Expeller-pressed rapeseed oil (67%)
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Soya protein (1%)
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Filtered water
  • Mustard flour
  • Sea salt

Why examining the ingredients listed above, it’s clear that some brands use fewer ingredients than others. If you’re adamant about consuming products with minimal ingredients, Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise and Heinz Vegan Seriously Good Mayonnaise are good options.

So, Is Vegan Mayo Healthy?

It’s not exactly a state secret that cheaper brands generally don’t taste as good as name brands. In fact, the lesser-known brands can sometimes look, taste, and smell kind of strange. The reason for this anomaly has to do with the primary ingredients used in manufacturing.

Off brands of mayonnaise tend to cut costs by using low-quality eggs or eggs that come from hens that are caged and raised in unhealthy environments. This isn’t usually the case with name-brand mayonnaises.

The same is true with vegan alternatives. Some brands use higher quality ingredients that help produce better-tasting mayonnaise. You can check the ingredients on the label to determine if you’re buying a product that is healthier than others.

Check to see if the ingredients are organic, as well. As long as you know what to look for, you can buy vegan mayo that is healthy.

Is Vegan Mayonnaise a Good Choice for Vegans?

It all depends on what you buy. As stated, it’s important to verify the ingredients listed on the label. As long as you do your homework and know what to look for, you can be sure to invest in vegan mayo that’s healthy for you.

Of course, mayonnaise isn’t the only product you can buy in vegan form. We regularly update our list of vegan products, restaurants, and ingredients, so you know which foods are vegan-friendly and which ones to steer clear of.

Head over there now by clicking here to see all of the past entries and latest updates.

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