Eating Mayo During Pregnancy


If the mayonnaise is made of pasteurized (heat-treated egg), then it is considered to be safe during pregnancy. It is actually made of egg yolk and mixed with vegetable oil and lemon juice or vinegar. The ones you find in the supermarket on the non-refrigerated shelves are made of pasteurized eggs, thus absolutely safe for consumption. In this article, we will be discussing about consuming mayonnaise during pregnancy.

can pregnant women eat mayo


In this article:

Types of Mayonnaise
Nutritional Values of Mayonnaise
Benefits of Eating Mayonnaise During Pregnancy
Can Mayonnaise be Harmful During Pregnancy?
Safety Measures
Are there any Alternatives to Mayonnaise?
How to Prepare Home-Made Mayonnaise?

Eating Mayo During Pregnancy : Things You Should Know

Types of Mayonnaise

Listed below are the types of mayonnaise

  • Real mayonnaise

With fat content of 78.5% and egg 6%, this one meets the codex Alimentarius food standards.

  • Light mayonnaise

With low fat content of 20-30% and around 3% egg, it includes thickening agents as maize starch and xanthium gum.

  • Full-fat mayonnaise

Consists of 65-75% fat

  • Extra mayonnaise consists of less than 10% fat and 4% egg.

Nutritional Values of Mayonnaise

  • A tablespoon of mayonnaise consists of around 94 calories or 100 gm consists of 700 calories of fat.
  • A tablespoon of mayonnaise consists of 80mg to 125 mg of sodium. The daily recommended intake should be less than 2300mg.
  • A tablespoon has 5mg of cholesterol and one must not consume more than 300 mg a day as per the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Low fat mayonnaise consists of:

35% water, 1.5% sugar, 4% egg, 0.7% salt, 50% vegetable oil and 3% vinegar.

  • Whereas, commercial mayonnaise has:

8% water, 80% vegetable oil, 6% egg, 1% sugar, 1% salt and 4% vinegar.


Benefits of Eating Mayonnaise During Pregnancy

Good Source of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for healthy development of the baby and helps in clotting of blood. A tablespoon of mayonnaise consists of 24 microgram of vitamin K.

Good Source of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is beneficial for skin and hair and helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. In fact, it also lowers the risk of miscarriage and respiratory problems. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 1.77mg of vitamin E.

Good Source of Vitamin A, B6, B12 and D

A 100 grams of egg yolk in mayonnaise consists of 28% vitamin A, 20% vitamin B6, 54% vitamin D and 33% vitamin B12 of the percentage daily value recommended for consumption.

Can Mayonnaise be Harmful During Pregnancy?

There are a few reasons why mayonnaise should either be avoided completely or just be consumed in limited amounts at the time of pregnancy:



In case, the mayonnaise is infected with salmonella, it can lead to dehydration and bacteria in the bloodstream, meningitis and reactive arthritis. Not only this, but it can also infect your baby.

Fat Content

As per a 2014 study, the baby’s immune system can get damaged in case of excessive fat consumption by the mother. Not only this but children born to moms with high fat levels have higher chances of obesity problems in later life.

High Calories

Pregnant women need 300 calories a day but mayonnaise is high in calories and can lead to over consumption of the same when combined with other foods that you otherwise take throughout the day.

Artificial Preservatives

Although mayonnaise available in market is considered to be safe during pregnancy but they are also preserved with chemicals and additives because of which some women may go through side effects like nausea and weakness.

Safety Measures    

We have listed below a few tips that you can follow:


Check the Label

You must know about the fat content, information on the preservatives and other details by checking the label of the mayonnaise that you purchase from the supermarket. Also, you must check if it contains raw eggs or not. In case, it does, do not eat them.

Use a Clean Knife

Make sure that there are no germs or bacteria on the knife before you use it for applying the mayonnaise on your food.

Check the Ingredients

You must now of all the ingredients that have gone into it before you eat mayonnaise at a restaurant or an eatery. Also, confirm if the eggs were pasteurized. In case they were raw, make sure that they are British lion stamped because that is safe to be consumed.

Are there any Alternatives to Mayonnaise?

In the US, if there is any variation of mayonnaise that do not consist of egg, then it is not considered to be mayonnaise.

In case, you are pregnant and vegan or allergic to eggs, then you can consider egg free alternatives. There are a number of brands that are substitutes for mayonnaise, for instance Nayonaise and Begenaise in the US and Plamil Egg Free in the UK.


Well, there are other healthy options also if you do not want to consume mayo during pregnancy like plain yogurt, mustard, fat-free sour cream, almond and cashew paste spread and tofu mayonnaise

How to Prepare Home-Made Mayonnaise?

  • Take two pasteurized eggs and separate the yolks in a bowl.
  • By adding half a teaspoon of mustard and 1/4th teaspoon salt, whisk to combine.
  • Then, add 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  • While you are whisking the mixture, slowly add 3/4th cup of olive oil in a thin stream and continue.
  • You can continue adding the oil until it is blended and add 1/4th teaspoon white pepper.
  • Keep it in the fridge.


One of the major risk factors associated with eating raw eggs is food borne disease Salmonellosis, caused by salmonella bacteria, that can lead to headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fever and cramps. The disease can also get transferred to the fetus and lead to severe developmental defects.

 It is thus important for you as a mom-to-be to make sure of what you are consuming, which means making sure of all the ingredients that have been used in your food. Also, anything you consume can be harmful if it is consumed in excessive amounts.



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