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Mayo Vs. Ketchup (What’s the difference?)

Mayo and ketchup are two very different condiments, but they’re both top of the list as the most popular sauces in various countries worldwide.

Sauces as a topping or dip can add extra calories, fat, and sugar to our diets, so if you’re trying to cut down but can’t live without a condiment, you might be wondering which is best for your diet.

When it comes to ketchup and mayo, ketchup is lower in calories and is fat-free, whereas mayo is higher in calories and fat, but it doesn’t contain any carbs or sugar, making it a good option if you’re on a low carb or keto diet.

Read on to see my complete comparison between the two, including ingredients, nutrition, uses, and flavor.

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Ingredients Comparision

For this comparison, I’ve used top brand mayonnaise; Best Foods (Hellman’s in the UK), Real Mayonnaise, and Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Please note that ingredients will vary slightly between brands.

As you can see from the ingredients table below and as you might expect, there’s a big difference between the two sauces.

Mayonnaise is made from oil, water, eggs, and vinegar which combined give it a creamy texture. In contrast, ketchup is predominately made from tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar, which give it a sweet yet tangy flavor.

Mayonnaise Ingredients (Best Foods)Typical Ketchup Ingredients (Heinz)
Soybean Oil, Water, Whole Eggs, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), Natural FlavorsTomato Concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring.
bowl of mayo on the left and ketchup on the right to show the difference

Mayo Vs. Ketchup Nutritional Comparison

Moving onto the nutritional comparison, which again uses data for Best Foods Real Mayonnaise and Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Calorie Comparison

As you can see from the table below, there’s a big difference between the calorie content of full-fat mayonnaise and ketchup.

Weight-for-weight mayonnaise contains around six times the calories of tomato ketchup because its main ingredient is fat. In contrast, ketchup is tomato-based which is much lower in calories.

If calorie counting is a consideration for your diet, then ketchup is the better option than full-fat mayo, although you can get lighter mayo versions that are much lower in calories.

Sauce TypeCalories Per 100gCalories Per Serving
Mayonnaise (Real Foods)714kcal100kcal (per 14g serving)
Tomato Ketchup (Heinz)118kcal20kcal (per 17g serving)

Nutritional Comparison

Mayonnaise and ketchup are nutritionally different in that full-fat mayo has no carbs or sugar but is very high in fat, whereas ketchup is much higher in carbs and sugar but has no fat at all.

Both mayo and ketchup contain added salt, and a serving of ketchup contains 7% of the recommended daily value, whereas mayo contains 4%, making it the lower sodium option.

Nutrition TypeMayonnaise (Per 100g)Tomato Ketchup (Per 100g)
of Which are Sugars23.5g
Dietary Fiber0g
Total Fat78.6g0g
Saturated Fat10.7g
Monounsaturated Fat17.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat42.9g
Trans Fat0g

Which is Healthier Mayonnaise or Ketchup?

For people on a low-fat diet, tomato ketchup is the better choice, but mayo is the better option for those who are avoiding sugar and carbs.

Many people on low-carb/higher-fat diets choose mayonnaise as a sauce because it helps to up fat intake without the sugar.

Although mayo is relatively high in saturated fat, it also contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which are considered good fats and high in omega-3.

Ketchup has a high tomato content and contains some naturally occurring vitamin C and Vitamin A.

So, which is the healthier option comes down to your dietary requirements, ketchup is a lower calorie and lower fat option, but some choose mayo because it’s lower in carbs and sugar, although it’s high in calories and fat.

Mayo Vs. Ketchup Uses Comparison

Although mayonnaise and ketchup are very different sauces in flavor and texture, they’re actually used in similar ways, including:

  • As a dip or topping to various dishes such as fries.
  • On burgers – some people choose to use both sauces on the same burger.
  • In sandwiches.
  • To make sauces such as shrimp cocktail.
  • As a pizza dip.

Ketchup doesn’t work as well with salad and vegetable dishes as mayonnaise, whereas people are more likely to choose ketchup for a bacon sandwich or a plate of sausages than they would mayo.

Mayonaise is also good for mixing with other ingredients such as tuna or egg for a sandwich or salad side dish.

Flavor and Texture Comparison

Mayonnaise has a creamy texture and flavor with a tangy back note from the vinegar and lemon, which are added to the ingredients. The taste of mayonnaise is relatively mild and can be used for many dishes to add a creaminess without being overpowering.

In contrast, tomato ketchup has a rich tomato flavor; it’s sweet and tangy due to the added vinegar. Ketchup often has added spices to give it extra depth and a savory note that cuts through the sweetness.

Because both sauces are so different, it’s tough to decide if one is better than the other, so we’re holding a poll to find out the public favorite.

Please vote in the poll below to tell us which you like best, mayo or ketchup, and once you vote, the favorite so far will be revealed.

Which do you prefer?

More Mayo Vs. Ketchup FAQ’s

Which has more sugar, ketchup, or mayo?

Tomato ketchup has more sugar than mayo and many brands of full-fat mayo don’t have any sugar at all. Although ketchup is relatively high in sugar, low-sugar options are available in most large grocery stores.

Which is better for Keto, mayo, or ketchup?

Full-fat mayo is a better option than ketchup if you’re on a keto or low-carb diet. Topato ketchup is generally high in carbs and sugar, whereas mayo is higher in fat but has no carbs or sugar.

Related Articles

I hope this article has helped you to find the information you were looking for; you might also find the following articles helpful too:

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Mozzarella Cheese vs Cheddar Cheese (Complete Comparison)

References Used for this Article

To ensure the nutritional information used in this article is accurate, I have used data from the manufacturer and USDA data; the links below contain the source information:

USDA FoodData Central Real Foods Mayonnaise Nutritional Information

USDA FoodData Central Heinz Tomato Ketchup Nutritional Information