Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, tuna is the perfect pick for lunch or an afternoon snack. But smothering your tuna sandwich with mayonnaise isn't healthy. Just 1 tablespoon of mayo has more than 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. Use a healthy mayonnaise substitute to defeat the dryness without forfeiting flavor and nutrition.
While you probably wouldn’t hesitate to mix yogurt into a fresh fruit parfait or your morning cereal, you might hesitate to toss it with your tuna. But a dollop of low-fat plain yogurt is the perfect substitution for fat-filled mayo. It has just around 10 calories and 0.2 grams of fat per tablespoon. Yogurt is also packed with calcium, potassium and protein, which helps you stay full for longer. If the consistency of regular yogurt is too runny, choose thicker Greek yogurt instead.
If you like the taste of avocados, the creamy green fruits can also substitute for mayo when you’re trying to eat healthy. Although they don’t have the naturally tangy flavor of mayonnaise, they offer a subtle taste that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. A 1/2-cup portion of pureed avocado has just 180 calories, more than 7 grams of fiber and more than 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats, which protect against heart disease. These types of fats not only lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels, but also raise healthy HDL cholesterol levels. Avocados also pack a powerful punch of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and K.
Straight from the carton, cottage cheese might seem like a questionable substitute for thick and creamy mayo. But with a few simple steps, you can turn the chunky cheese into a creamy condiment. Cover a bowl with cheesecloth, plop the cottage cheese on top and let it drain overnight. In the morning, just beat the remaining curds with an electric mixer until smooth. Low-fat cottage cheese is nutritionally similar to yogurt, with just 10 calories and less than 0.2 grams of fat per tablespoon. However, it has a much saltier flavor, so you’ll probably be able to use less of it without sacrificing taste.
If you’re a mayonnaise maniac, using any type of substitute could leave you lusting after your old tuna sandwich. If yogurt or cottage cheese just won’t satisfy your taste buds, try tucking other ingredients into the sandwich. Finely chopped pickles provide a tangy twist. A few squirts of mustard can also make your tuna tangy. Other ingredients might include sliced olives, shredded carrots or chopped red peppers.
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 04025, Salad Dressing, Mayonnaise, Regular
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 01117, Yogurt, Plain, Low Fat, 12 Grams Protein per 8 Ounce
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 01016, Cheese, Cottage, Lowfat, 1% Milkfat
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 09037, Avocados, Raw, All Commercial Varieties
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.