Is it possible to eat mayonnaise when pregnant?

Mayonnaise is part of the list of foods to watch out for during pregnancy. In this article we see what are the two main issues that revolve around the consumption of mayonnaise during pregnancy.

Mayonnaise is a food rich in nutrients, benefits, calories as well as taste. There are two types of mayonnaise, the homemade (or homemade) one and the industrial one. These two mayonnaises are produced in a totally different way and have different chemical-physical characteristics. This classification is essential and is the basis of a good part of the considerations that we will make regarding its consumption of mayonnaise during pregnancy.

Mayonnaise in pregnancy, in summary

The main risk associated with the consumption of mayonnaise by pregnant women is that of contracting salmonellosis. The ingredient at risk is eggs, but only if they are not pasteurized. Pregnant woman should not eat eggs or unpasteurized egg products.


Pasteurization is the process by which foods and beverages are heated (to temperatures below the boiling point of water, i.e. 100°C) to kill pathogens and extend shelf life.

Pasteurization greatly reduces the risk of food poisoning (from Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria) and extends shelf life by days or weeks.

However, pasteurization also affects the consistency, flavor and nutritional value of foods, in fact a good homemade mayonnaise stands out precisely with regard to the use of whole and fresh eggs, which allows for superior characteristics.

Furthermore – it is worth remembering – pasteurization is not a form of sterilization, because the bacterial spores are not destroyed.

Salmonella in pregnancy

Salmonellosis infection, Salmonella, tends to be more dangerous – and sometimes even fatal – in pregnant women, as well as the elderly, younger children and those with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include:

  • nausea and vomit;
  • diarrhea;
  • abdominal cramps;
  • fever;
  • chills;
  • headache;
  • bloody stools.

Salmonellosis symptoms appear 6 hours to 6 days after eating contaminated foods.

The infection can last from 4 days to a full week or more, depending on how severe the symptoms become or if hospitalization is required (for complications such as dehydration).

According to a recent study in 4% of cases Salmonella can turn into bacteremia (when bacteria in the bloodstream). This can lead to sepsis, which can be harmful to an unborn baby. Early detection and treatment of Salmonella can prevent all of these complications.

Risks of mayonnaise during pregnancy

From a hygienic point of view

As we mentioned above, the concern is the bacteria that may be present in raw eggs.

The jars of mayonnaise that you find on store shelves are made with pasteurized eggs with the aim, precisely, of avoiding the risk of bacterial infections. So, if the mayonnaise you want says to eat is made with pasteurized eggs you’re good to go. Then eat it.

Homemade mayonnaise is made with whole, fresh eggs, which can contain listeria bacteria, which can lead to listeriosis, and salmonella bacteria, which can lead to salmonellosis. This mayonnaise should therefore be avoided.

From a caloric point of view

On average, classic mayonnaise provides 717 kcal per 100 grams of product, or 99 kcal per table spoon.

On average, light mayonnaise provides 324 kcal per 100 grams of product, or 49 kcal per table spoon.

In both cases, adding a teaspoon of mayonnaise to some dishes is not a problem, but its use in large quantities and on a regular basis could lead to excessive caloric intake, with the risk of making you fat, which is not good for the your well-being and that of the baby.

From a nutritional point of view

Mayonnaise contains saturated fats that are not good for your health when eaten in large quantities: any excess of saturated fat puts you at risk for excess weight gain and an abnormal lipid profile.

So excessive fat consumption should be avoided. A 2016 study found that a mother’s excessive consumption of fat can harm the baby’s immune system. Another study from the Cleveland Clinic and West Virginia University says that babies born to mothers with high levels of fat will struggle with obesity later in their lives.

Mayonnaise is high in both sugar and sodium , two ingredients that should be eaten in limited amounts during pregnancy. Research studies have shown that in the long run, foods high in sugar can lead to diabetes, and sodium could potentially raise blood pressure.

Finally, supermarket mayonnaise is preserved with chemicals and additives . Excessive consumption of these products could have side effects, such as nausea and weakness, in some women.

Benefits of mayonnaise in pregnancy

From a nutritional point of view

One tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 1.77 mg of vitamin E. Vitamin E is very good for skin and hair. It also reduces the risk of miscarriages and respiratory problems and helps keep blood sugar levels in check.

One tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 24 micrograms of vitamin K , which is more than 25% of the daily requirement of 90 micrograms. Vitamin K is very important for the healthy development of the fetus and newborn. It also aids in blood clotting and prevents excess bleeding. Therefore, proper vitamin K intake is essential during labor and delivery.

Still in terms of vitamins, 100 grams of egg yolk in mayonnaise contains 28% vitamin A, 54% vitamin D , 20% vitamin B6 and 33% vitamin B12 of the percentage of the recommended daily value for adult women.

Finally, during pregnancy your body needs more fat than usual due to the physiological changes it goes through. Therefore, 30-35% of total calories should come from fat (and preferably monounsaturated fatty acids). However, as written above, excessive fat consumption should be avoided.

Vegan mayonnaise during pregnancy

Vegan mayonnaise, also known as vegetable mayonnaise or fake mayonnaise is a product whose flavor is only vaguely similar in flavor to the classic recipe. It is a product suitable for vegans, celiacs, lactose intolerant and is prepared without eggs. The typical ingredients of vegan mayonnaise are: seed oil, soy milk, teaspoon of lemon juice, pinch of salt.

Vegan mayonnaise provides from 260 to 543 Kcal per 100 grams of product. Compared to the classic version, vegan mayonnaise is much richer in sodium and sugar.


Mayonnaise is a rich and tasty food, which many women find to be very useful for their mood. If you are one of these, he will have let you know that you must not give up mayonnaise during pregnancy.

There are many safe, pasteurized packs of mayonnaise on store shelves. You may even find some without eggs (vegan).

When it comes to homemade mayonnaise, just be careful to make sure where the eggs come from and — when in doubt — don’t eat it.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *