If you've been "holding the mayo" for so long you can't remember what it tastes like, you might want to give the creamy topper another chance. While it does contain 90 calories and 10 grams of fat per tablespoon, it's no dietary villain.
"Most varieties are made with soybean oil, which contains a blend of healthy mono—and polyunsaturated fats," says Christina Stark, R.D., a nutrition specialist at Cornell University. "Both help lower blood cholesterol levels and can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke when eaten in place of saturated or trans fats."
Not convinced? Consider this: researchers in Arizona, Pheonix and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, have found that among creamy dressings, mayonnaise is the protective effect, and that supplemental vitamin E did not provide the same benefits.
"Higher intakes of vitamin E from foods may be linked with lower risk of death from stroke," they wrote. This is good news for consumers, says Pam Chumley, executive director of The Association for Dressings and Sauces—an Atlanta, Georgia-based international association of salad dressing and mayonnaise manufacturers and suppliers. "This shows that salad dressings have additional health benefits as well."
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