What if I told you that not all mayonnaise is created equal? When you follow a ketogenic diet, it’s incredibly important to check the nutrition label on the foods that you eat. But are you checking out the ingredient list on those foods too?
So what’s the difference? Many Americans prefer the taste and price of Miracle Whip over regular mayonnaise. Miracle Whip is a popular sauce condiment manufactured and sold in the United States. It was created as a less expensive alternative to mayonnaise and contains similar ingredients with added sugar and spices.
Most Americans would consider Miracle Whip equal with mayonnaise. The fact of the matter is that it just isn’t true. Here are 5 reasons why Miracle Whip is not considered to be keto-friendly and should be avoided.
5 Reasons Why Miracle Whip Is Not Keto-Friendly
#1 High in Carbohydrates and Sugar
The worst thing you can do when going keto is to consume high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. The only way to reach ketosis and reap the full benefits of the diet is to keep your daily carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less. That means you have a very limited amount allotted to you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.
One tablespoon of Miracle Whip contains 40 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates. That may not seem like very much, but most people don’t measure out one tablespoon when adding condiments to their food. If we’re being realistic you most likely add closer to 3-5 tablespoons to that chicken salad you make for lunch. That potentially adds up to 200 calories and 10 net carbs on top of the other carb-containing ingredients within the chicken salad.
Most regular mayonnaise condiments out there contain 0 grams of carbohydrates. That shifts the majority of the calories in each serving coming from healthy fats instead of unnecessary carbohydrates and added sugars.
#2 Contains High Fructose Corn Syrup
Miracle Whip’s main source of sugar is from high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is a sweetener derived from genetically modified corn. It’s cheap to produce and an easy way for food companies to cut corners when trying to sweeten their products.
Even if you’re not on keto, it’s recommended by most health professionals to completely avoid high fructose corn syrup in your diet. It provides no nutritional benefit and has a long list of negative effects if consumed regularly over a long period of time. HFCS contains large amounts of a specific form of sugar called fructose. Fructose can be found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables, but our bodies are not built to digest and process fructose in excess amounts.
If you’re following the keto diet, most likely your goal is to reduce inflammation in your body, lose weight, or both. HFCS reverses these positive effects of the ketogenic diet. Higher consumption of HFCS can lead to an increase of up to 500 additional calories consumed per day and can cause an increase in your body’s inflammatory response. The excessive consumption of HFCS may lead to obesity, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer.
So when you’re faced with the inevitable choice between high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, opt for natural sweeteners that contain fewer carbohydrates and have little to no effect on your blood glucose levels like stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit.
#3 Contains Modified Cornstarch
Modified cornstarch is another highly processed food derived from genetically modified corn. Modified cornstarch is most commonly used for its stabilizing, thickening and emulsifying properties.
Like high fructose corn syrup, modified cornstarch contributes to the carbohydrate count of Miracle Whip without providing any nutritional benefits. It contains maltodextrin which is known to cause skin rashes and asthma. It also contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) which has been known to result in nausea, headaches, and heart palpitations.
Modified cornstarch has 7 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon. To keep the carb count low and avoid GMOs, avoid cornstarch completely if possible.
#4 Contains Potassium Sorbate
In order to keep it from spoiling, Miracle Whip contains an artificial preservative known as potassium sorbate. It’s used to maintain the texture, color, and taste of the mayonnaise alternative by preventing the growth of mold and bacteria.
How could a substance that makes your food last longer be bad for keto? Just like many other artificial substances, potassium sorbate comes with its own adverse health effects. Potassium sorbate contains an inorganic compound named potassium hydroxide. Consuming too many foods with potassium hydroxide can lead to hypersensitivity, causing an allergic response in the body and increase inflammation. Conditions like hyperkalemia and migraines are also associated with the substance.
#5 Made From Soybean Oil
Unfortunately, the soybean oil in Miracle Whip is another source of GMOs and adverse health effects on the human body. Soybean oil is a commonly used vegetable oil that contains highly unstable, easily oxidized, pro-inflammatory fats. This includes a polyunsaturated fatty acid known as omega-6 fatty acids.
While omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential to the human body, high levels can increase inflammation and the risk of obesity. Expose these fatty acids to heat and they oxidize, increasing your chances of heart disease and hardening of the arteries. With so many alternatives to soybean oil, you can easily avoid this by choosing a keto-friendly mayonnaise made with olive oil or avocado oil.
How To Make A Keto-Friendly Mayonnaise
- 1 organic free-range egg yolk
- 1 tbsp organic Dijon mustard
- 250 ml light tasting olive oil
- ¼ tsp Pink Himalayan salt
- 1 lemon juice from whole lemon
- Put the egg yolk and Dijon mustard into a jar.
- Blend well using an Immersion Blender.
- Slowly add the olive oil and mix consistently. Once the mixture becomes slightly stiffer in consistency, you may add the oil more rapidly.
- Add the lemon juice and salt into the jar.
- Store in a jar and refrigerate.
Miracle Whip FAQs
Miracle Whip is not keto-friendly. It contains high amounts of carbohydrates and unhealthy sources of sugar like high fructose corn syrup. This can add unnecessary carbohydrates and calories to your diet. The low-quality ingredients used in Miracle Whip, like modified cornstarch, soybean oil, and potassium sorbate, could reverse the positive effects of a ketogenic diet and lead to increased chances of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
While it’s true that Miracle Whip does not have any gluten-containing ingredients, that does not mean that it qualifies as “gluten-free”. Unless the product is certified gluten-free, there is always a chance of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. For those with gluten sensitivities, Miracle Whip should be avoided.
Miracle Whip is a lactose-free and dairy-free product.
Miracle Whip is vegetarian-friendly. However, it is not vegan-friendly as it does contain eggs.
Yes, Miracle Whip is pasteurized making it safe for children and pregnant women to consume.
Even with the addition of preservatives, Miracle Whip will eventually go bad. It will begin to develop a bad odor and separate. Be sure to store opened containers of Miracle Whip and mayonnaise in your refrigerator and do not consume past the use-by date.