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Miracle Whip and mayonnaise are two similar, widely used condiments.
They’re made with many of the same ingredients but have some notable differences.
While Miracle Whip contains less fat and fewer calories than mayo, it packs more sugar and additives.
This article reviews the similarities and differences between Miracle Whip and mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise, or mayo, is a tangy, creamy condiment made with oil, egg yolks, and an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice.
Because its main ingredients are high in fat, mayonnaise is very rich in calories.
Miracle Whip was originally developed as a cheaper alternative to mayo. It contains the same ingredients, but less oil.
In addition, Miracle Whip contains water, sugar, and a unique blend of spices. It comes in a few different varieties, including original, light, and fat-free versions.
Both are commonly used as condiments for sandwiches, bases for dips and salad dressings, and in recipes, such as tuna, egg, and chicken salads.
Mayo is made from oil, egg yolks, and an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice. Miracle Whip contains these ingredients, as well as water, sugar, and spices.
Miracle Whip contains less fat and fewer calories than mayonnaise.
|Original Miracle Whip||Mayonnaise|
|Fat||5 grams||10 grams|
|Protein||0 grams||0 grams|
|Carbs||2 grams||0 grams|
Because Miracle Whip contains about half the calories of mayo, it’s a good alternative for those who are counting calories. Fat-free Miracle Whip provides even fewer calories, with a 1-tablespoon (roughly 15-gram) serving containing only 13 calories ().
However, the fat content of mayo may not be a health concern. Recent research indicates that dietary fat — once thought to cause heart disease — may not necessarily be harmful, as was previously believed ().
In fact, one 13-week study gave 36 adults a high-fat diet that derived 40% of its calories from fat. The high-fat diet lowered blood pressure just as much as a low-fat diet — with the added benefit of decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides ().
Regardless, if you are trying to reduce your calorie intake, Miracle Whip may be a better choice than mayonnaise.
Summary Miracle Whip contains less fat and about half the calories of mayo, so it’s a good option if you are counting calories. However, emerging research shows that dietary fat may not necessarily be harmful, as was previously thought.
Miracle Whip is sweeter and contains other ingredients
While mayonnaise is tangy and rich, Miracle Whip is uniquely sweet because it contains added sugar and a blend of spices, including mustard, paprika, and garlic.
Unfortunately, Miracle Whip is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — a highly refined added sugar that has been associated with several health issues, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ().
One study in 41 children with obesity replaced their dietary intake of fructose — including HFCS — with starch while maintaining their calorie intake. It found the diet reduced the children’s liver fat by nearly 50% in 9 days ().
Miracle Whip is also made with soybean oil, which has been shown to induce inflammation in some animal and test-tube studies (, ).
Additionally, Miracle Whip contains additives. These include modified cornstarch as a thickener, potassium sorbate as a preservative, and natural flavors.
While some brands of mayonnaise may contain additives or processed seed oils, you can easily make homemade mayo or find healthier mayonnaise brands online or at natural grocers. Look for brands with fewer ingredients.
Summary Miracle Whip contains high-fructose corn syrup, inflammatory soybean oil, and refined additives. While some mayo brands are highly processed, you can find healthier mayo brands or make your own mayo.
Which one is healthier?
Although Miracle Whip is lower in fat and calories, mayonnaise is less highly refined and may be the healthier choice.
However, you should seek out mayo that’s made with healthy oils, such as olive or avocado oil, instead of inflammatory seed oils like soybean, canola, or corn oil.
Overall, mayonnaise made with healthy oils is a better choice than Miracle Whip. However, if you’re only using these condiments in small quantities, they should not significantly affect your health.
You can easily make your own mayonnaise using only oil, egg yolk, a bit of mustard, and vinegar or lemon juice. Here’s a recipe to make 1 cup (232 grams) of mayo.
- 1 raw egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard
- 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.6 grams) ground black pepper
Combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Then add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while the blender is still running. Blend until smooth.
You can keep homemade mayo in your fridge in a sealed container for up to one week.
Another healthy alternative
Plain Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to both Miracle Whip and mayonnaise. It not only provides a similar texture and tanginess but also more protein and fewer calories ().
Summary Mayonnaise made with healthy oils, such as olive or avocado oil, is a better choice than Miracle Whip. However, Greek yogurt is a great, protein-packed alternative to both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.
The bottom line
Miracle Whip is a lower-fat, lower-calorie alternative to mayonnaise. However, it contains some refined ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil, which have been linked to several health issues.
Try to find mayo that’s made with healthy oils, such as olive or avocado oil, or make your own at home.
Alternatively, Greek yogurt is a great substitute for both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.
When used in small amounts, mayo or Miracle Whip shouldn’t significantly affect your health.