THE BLOG
05/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Where Mayo Goes To Hide

Most of us who are trying to eat healthfully make a concerted effort to avoid mayonnaise. We're all smart enough to know that anything made of primarily vegetable oil and egg yolks just can't be good for our waistlines or our poor little arteries! Now, we hope that you are already aware of the fact that foods like tuna salad, potato salad, and most macaroni salads are all saturated with mayo. Unfortunately, though, many restaurants and food companies are sneaky bastards and they're using mayo in several other dishes and doing a damn good job of hiding it. And then many of us who eat out often or buy prepackaged food wonder why we can't lose those last five pounds. Well, this may be why: hidden mayo can add hundreds of calories to your day without you even knowing that it's there. Here are the five places it is most often hidden. Be on the lookout.

#1 - Spicy Tuna Rolls

This is an evil secret that most sushi restaurants share. Many of them make their spicy tuna roll by mixing the tuna with a bunch of mayonnaise! They really bury it in there with a bunch of spicy sauce so that you barely even notice it, but it's lurking there in our healthy sushi, waiting to make us fat. We were so bummed when we learned this, because spicy tuna was previously one of our favorites, but not anymore. Don't waste your expensive, sushi-grade albacore on glorified tuna salad. We recommend swapping the spicy tuna roll for regular tuna or even tuna avocado, where you'll at least enjoy the source of fat and get a little potassium into your body. Just add a little extra wasabi and you'll barely notice the difference.

#2 - Guacamole

Any self-respecting Mexican restaurant would never use mayo in their guac, but several less prideful ones do. It is an easy and cheap way to thin out the guacamole, since avocados are a lot more expensive than mayonnaise. Pay attention to color. If the guac is pale, celery green, it's most likely loaded with mayo. And notice a certain tang that some guacamoles have and keep in mind that avocados are creamy, buttery and delicious, but certainly not tangy.

#3 - Artichoke Dip

We were at a friend's dinner party the other night and she served a delicious artichoke dip made from fresh artichokes. It tasted light and fresh and we gobbled up nearly the entire bowlful. We enjoyed it so much that we asked her for the recipe and almost slapped her in the face when she handed it to us. There was absolutely no sign of mayonnaise in that dip, and yet it contained quite a bit. We already knew that most packaged, blended dips contained mayo, but now we'll be suspicious of these chunky, home-made versions, too. Now, we don't want you to offend your friend and be one of those lame chicks who doesn't eat at a party, but learn from our mistake and just have a few tastes. That bowlful of mayo did not look good on us the next day.

#4 - Aioli

Traditional aioli is made from garlic, olive oil and sometimes egg, so it was never a diet food to begin with. But at a nice restaurant with a glass of vino and yummy piece of fresh baked bread, this stuff is well worth the million calories. However, some companies and restaurants have tried to make their lives easier by adding globs of mayo instead of emulsifying the oil and egg themselves. Of course, traditional aioli is common around the world, where they have much lower obesity rates than here in America, where we get lazy and add mayo. We doubt that this is a coincidence.

#5 - Dressings

Mayonnaise serves as a base for many bottled salad dressings, particularly Thousand Island and ranch. In the UK, Thousand Island dressing is called "fry sauce," and that makes sense to us. This thick, creamy mixture of ketchup and mayo works better as a dip for french fries than it does weighing down iceberg lettuce (literally and figuratively). As for ranch, go ahead and have it with your hot wings, but pouring mayo all over your salad just doesn't make sense. Keep your salad healthy and you'll feel less guilty splurging on dip when you'll enjoy it.