The Great Mayonnaise Deception and Marketing Trickery

The Great Mayonnaise Deception and Marketing Trickery

Can Mayonnaise Really Be Healthy?

For full disclosure, I prefer mayo over mustard. Growing up, we were a mayo leaning household. Blame my parents.

Sitting having lunch today, as I reached for my favorite mayonnaise, my eye focuses on the bottom of the bottle, with somewhat of a surprising health claim: my favorite “real” mayonnaise actually will supply me with omega-3 fatty acids. Are these the same omega-3′s we are all looking to consume in fresh fish and nuts? Omega-3 fatty acids are the talk of the nutrition world, and seem to help us prevent or treat just about every ailment from halitosis (bad breath for the novice followers of our blog) to dementia. Wow. I always knew my parents were forward thinking for recommending mayo over yellow mustard. They had our health and well being on their mind decades earlier than most.

So with that said, and the apparent availability of omega-3′s in mayo, is that really a good thing? Here is my take on this nutritional dilemma:

1. It’s all about marketing: we are conditioned to react to statements that proclaim a health benefit. Do not be fooled. Michael Pollan states it very nicely in this quote: “…Only the big food manufacturers have the wherewithal to secure FDA-approved health claims for their products and then trumpet them to the world. Generally, it is the products of modern food science that make the boldest health claims, and these are often founded on incomplete and often bad science. ”
Michael Pollan, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual

2. I would suggest you get your omega 3-fatty acids in their natural source, not a manufactured product. Eat fish, nuts, and vegetables, not food in a squeeze bottle.

3. For a good understanding of omega-3′s, look at this review from the Harvard School of Public Health.

4. Lastly, with all of this hype and health claims, one may walk away with the notion that “eating mayonnaise may actually be good for me”. This of course is the wrong message and an unexpected consequence of all this-or maybe exactly what the marketing department at Hellman’s wants. From a nutrition stand point, 100% of the calories comes from fat. See the nutritional breakdown here. Mayo is basically egg fat and oil. A serving of mayo is equal to the fat found in 4 chocolate chip cookies. Hmmm.maybe not so healthful.

Omega-3: Really?



Having a thin smear of mayo every blue moon won’t kill you, or clog your arteries. The impression that mayo is a healthful food, and we should eat more, is a false claim. For fairness, the makers of Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise do not tell you to eat more of their mayo for the omega-3 benefit-they simply state the fact of what’s in their product. We are all conditioned from elsewhere that these are things we need in our diet. They are simply riding on the food and nutrition benefit wave of omega-3 fatty acids.

Ham and Mayo?








Tell me what you think.



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Alcoholic Liver Disease: What You Need to Know-The Basics

Our latest video covers the basic aspects of alcohol related liver disease, and the complications of excessive alcohol intake. In general, there are three areas of concern:

1. The development of alcoholic fatty liver disease

2. The development of acute alcoholic hepatitis

3. Alcoholic cirrhosis

The major point to understanding is that all alcoholic drinks (servings) have about the same amount of alcohol in them. Thus, 1-beer, 1-glass of wine, and 1-serving of spirit (i.e. vodka, rum, gin, etc) all have approximately 10-12 grams of alcohol in them. Alcohol is alcohol, regardless of the volume, color, or taste.

The other key point to remember, is that the amount of alcohol daily is different for men and women. For women, one serving/day is the limit; two for men. Period. Above this, you run the risk of complications.

View our latest video.

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Childhood Obesity: A Close Up Look

Which that said, my estimate is that 35% of these young women are overweight or obese. This is consistent with the national trend.

One of the players had a very obvious “spare tire” that was visually obvious with every swing. The gravity if this adipose tissue flung forward with the twist of her swing. With each peak, I thought to myself, “this poor kid will be diabetic by age 30 if nothing is done.”

Surrounded by fast-food advertisements, junk snacks, and sugar charged drinks, this teenage generation is doomed. It has been stated repeatedly this this generation-our children-will not live as long as their parents.

So what to do? An action plan? Start with the following:
A. Look at your kids weight: take action if your child is overweight
B. Thin out you food closets of processes foods.
C. Learn to cook and feed your family real good
D. Teach your kids

This weekend I am attending a girls high school golf tournament. The girls participating are generally 15 to 17 years old. With the players dressed in skirts, shorts, and golf shirts, you can get a sense of their underlying physique.

the merits of regular, vigorous exercise.

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Alcohol Awareness Month

Here is information on a recent radio segment I did discussing Alcohol Awareness Month, and the ill effects alcohol has on your body. Read it and share it with your family. Listen to the broadcast segment.

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Bad Food Selection Key to Obesity

Bad Food Selection Key to Obesity



Another entry of what not to eat.

Reality check from the airport. Real world advice.

When traveling, there is virtually nothing healthful to eat at the airport. You have to resist the fast foods you’re confronted with, and try to pack your own food for the trip. As uncool as this seems, or for some unrealistic, packing along some fruit, nuts, and other sources of protein will get you through a three hour flight…free of over-salted, carb rich empty calories.

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Availability of Unhealthy Fast Foods Adding to Obesity and Healthcare Crisis.

Availability of Unhealthy Fast Foods Adding to Obesity and Healthcare Crisis.

Continue Reading →

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New York Times: Fatty Liver Threat Tied to Obesity

New York Times: Fatty Liver Threat Tied to Obesity

6a00e54eea9caa8834011168d37593970c-500wiThe New York Times posted a great article by Anahad O’Connor, titled Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity. Click the link to read the full article. As a liver specialist, I see the effects of obesity daily, and the liver disease that results.

These are my thoughts on this:

Obesity is public enemy #1. Yes, cancer, heart disease, mental health concerns, and diabetes we are all familiar with. For the past decade, obesity has been tied to most of these conditions. I have patients that would rather continue the path of consuming processed foods, rather than make the decision to modify their diet. I have found that most adults, and especially those under 30 years old, have a limited range of cooking abilities-thus prepared foods are far more attractive to them, avoiding the need to cook a meal from scratch. The alternative to this non-change in behavior is a potentially slow and progressive slide towards more advanced liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and the need for transplant. What a choice: eat better and exercise, or get liver cancer? A 10% drop in body weight has been shown to slow the progression fat causes in the liver. Transplant is not the answer. Besides the massive healthcare cost, without a change in behavior, fatty liver will return in the transplanted liver within a year, and by 3 years, it may be as high as 50%. As a nation, we simply do not have the money to pay for all of this. The cancerous spread of fast food chains into every corner of your neighborhood needs to stop. In 10-15 years, we will have a generation of disabled citizens, riddled with diabetes, heart disease, and on dialysis. We will become a second-rate nation.

Look at this video we produced recently, which outlines some of the simple steps needed for better nutrition and health.

Added Bonus: Listen to my comments on Olive Garden

Your thoughts on this? I want to hear back from you.

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What’s in My Shopping Cart?

What’s in My Shopping Cart?

Yes, it is true, you are what you eat. But let’s take it back one step; you’re only as good as the food you buy at the market.

I am a professional observer. Same may say snoop.  At the supermarket, I am looking to see what everyone is buying, and passing judgement on the value of the contents of your basket, from a nutritional aspect. I make no judgement on your personal morality or world views. Leave that for others.

Tonight while shopping, I looked at my own basket and found nothing but real food. Nothing processed, artificial, or full of sugar.  All of this will rot or spoil if left out for a few days. That cannot be said of most products at a modern grocery. Below is the picture of my cart. What does yours look like?

Good Zfood

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Brett Sanders Discusses LifeGift: Update on Life Saving Open Heart Surgery

Listen to the recent interview with Brett Sanders with Heart Gift, and the charitable work they are doing for children around the world in need of life saving open heart surgery.

Brett Sanders and Heart Gift: Update on Life Saving Surgery in Houston by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

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FDA Rejects Daily Aspirin Use to Prevent Heart Attack

Here is a behind the scenes look at our studio, and the making of the Medical Minute.

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