Is the creamy mayonnaise as harmless as it looks?

Chicken dishes are incredibly popular in the restaurants in Kerala. Though there are many tasty vegetarian and beef dishes lined up on the menu, they cannot compete with the incredible popularity that the chicken dishes enjoy around the world. From chicken biryani, fried rice, kuzhimanthi and alfam to fried chicken, roasts, grilled chicken, burgers and sandwiches, chicken dishes are available in countless varieties and tastes.

These dishes excite the taste buds of food lovers, irrespective of their age or gender. Lately, grilled chicken has bagged the top spot among the dishes that are mostly sold in the hotels in Kerala. They are available in many names such as shawai chicken or barbecue. The difference lies in the masala or the marinade that is used in each dish. They are served with fresh salads, pickled veggies and creamy mayonnaise on the side.

Garlic paste or mayonnaise that has garlic flavour is the best-loved side dish with grilled chicken. You could enjoy the juicy chicken and the crispy French fries by dipping them in this creamy goodness. Lightly sour, salty and sweet mayonnaise could easily balance the flavours when it is paired with a spicy grilled chicken. 

Shawarma too is loaded with mayonnaise along with other fillings. Mayonnaise can be mixed with rice while eating hot kuzhi manthi as well. 

To make the creamiest mayonnaise, eggs are beaten with vegetable oil in a blender and are garnished with salt, a pinch of sugar and lemon juice for the perfect zing. Though mayonnaise tastes divine, this innocent-looking side dish isn’t really good for the body. It is loaded with saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol. So, it is wise to be mindful while eating mayonnaise as it could potentially damage your heart. A plate of manthi rice has 250-kilo calories. However, the same amount of calories is getting consumed in just 25-30 grams of mayonnaise. 

Those who hit the gym to tone their bodies or to be in shape often prefer eating grilled chicken as it is prepared without adding any oil. Even if they ignore the French fries that come as a side dish, they do not say ‘no’ to mayonnaise. The restaurants usually serve at least 30 grams of mayonnaise with the chicken dishes.

Fitness freaks who praise the nutritious value of the grilled chicken that isn’t marinated in any harsh masala often forget about the mayonnaise. The calories that he/she has burned by working out in the gym for hours would be loaded back into the body in a very unhealthy way.

The hotel workers who make shawarma could vouch for their customers’ deep love for mayonnaise. Besides filling the shawarma with mayonnaise, most people would ask for extra mayonnaise on the side for them to dip the roll. Restaurant owners say that most customers often ask for a second or third helping of mayonnaise while enjoying tasty manti. However, mayonnaise which is made using expensive ingredients isn’t pocket friendly for the owners.

Food items that appeal to our taste buds might not be good for health. That is why we have trained ourselves to eat food items like mutton, prawns and chocolates in moderation. However, not many seem to know about how much harm a bowl of simple looking mayonnaise could cause to your body.

Mayonnaise is not even considered as a food item, but a tasty side dish that is served along with the ‘main’ item. However, the truth is that this side dish could cause more harm than the actual main dish. Health and nutritious experts say that it is always best to enjoy mayonnaise in small quantities, that too not so often. 

(The writer is a restaurant consultant and blogger. The opinions are personal)

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