From the perspective of net carbs and fat content, full-fat mayo is keto-friendly. Since it is so high in fat and very low in carbs and protein, mayonnaise is one of the best keto condiments for adding more fat to your diet.
Even the cheaper mayo products with added sugars are still low enough in carbs that they can be used on keto. However, for optimal health and fat loss, it is crucial that you consider the quality of the ingredients in your mayo as well.
The best mayo for keto will be one that is both healthy and keto-friendly for you. The first step on your path to finding the right product or recipe starts with mayo’s primary ingredient: Oil.
The first ingredient in your mayo should always be oil or a blend of oils. A high-quality product for keto will have one or more of the following healthy oils:
- Olive oil (extra virgin is the healthiest option) — With a wide array of healthy fats and health-promoting polyphenols, extra virgin olive oil is one of all-around best oils for keto. If you find extra virgin to be too bitter, try using regular olive oil.
- Avocado oil — This is one of the most popular oils used in healthy keto mayo because of its neutral flavor and high monounsaturated fat
- MCT oil — If you need a quick energy and ketone boost, look for mayo with MCT oil in it or make it yourself using the recipes in the homemade keto mayo section below.
- High-oleic sunflower or high-oleic safflower oil — “high-oleic” refers to a type of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid. Similar to avocado oil, these oils are neutral in flavor and packed with healthy fats.
- Coconut oil — Along the same line as MCT oil, coconut oil has ketone-boosting fatty acids in it as well. This is a good option if you don’t have access to an MCT-oil-based keto mayo.
The above options are your best choice for keto-friendly mayo and an overall healthy keto lifestyle. If you’d like to see a more in-depth explanation, feel free to read our guide to the best (and worst) keto oils to use.
Unfortunately, not all products are made with these oils. You will often find mayonnaise featuring one or more of the following oils that we recommend avoiding on keto:
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Regular sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Regular safflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
Soybean oil is the most common ingredient found in store-bought mayo. Though this oil contains some healthy fats, it also comes with a high dose of polyunsaturated fatty acids that quickly break down into toxic by-products when exposed to heat, air, or light.
The other oils are on this list because they are filled with delicate polyunsaturated fats as well. For optimal health, it is best to avoid these oils on keto.
- Eggs — You’ll find whole eggs and/or egg yolks in most mayos (except for vegan mayo, which we will learn about later). The healthiest egg variety (for us, the hens, and the environment) will be local pasture-raised eggs. Many mayo brands say they use “cage-free” eggs as if they are a better option. However, “cage-free” doesn’t ensure humane living conditions and healthy diets for the hens.
- Lemon juice and/or vinegar — Both are used in mayo to boost the flavor with some acidity. While both contain some carbs, they are used in such small amounts in mayo that you’ll only get a minuscule amount of net carbs from them.
- Salt — Not only will it enhance the flavor, but salt can help stave off fatigue and other keto-flu symptoms while you are restricting carbs.
- Mustard — Whether it’s dijon, seed powder, or mustard flour, mustard is a common ingredient in mayo due to its flavor and emulsifying properties. Since it is also keto-friendly and adds some antioxidants and micronutrients to your meal, mustard is an excellent ingredient for keto mayo.
- Rosemary extract — A natural preservative that extends shelf-life and adds a nice touch of flavor.