Mayonnaise vs Butter: Difference and Comparison

Food spreads have grown essentially important in the diet as they are known to improve the taste & flavor of the food items.

It becomes increasingly important to choose the right spread if you are moving to a healthy diet. Food spreads are known for their high saturated fat content & calorie richness (hence, they should be used sparingly & occasionally).

Choosing the healthier alternative gives an edge in maintaining one’s health.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mayonnaise is a creamy condiment from egg yolks, oil, vinegar, or lemon juice.
  2. Butter is a dairy product made by churning cream or milk, resulting in a solid, fatty spread.
  3. Mayonnaise is used primarily as a spread or dressing, while butter is used as a spread, cooking ingredient, or baking component.

Mayonnaise vs Butter

Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoning. It has a smooth and creamy texture and is used to add flavor to sandwiches. Butter is a dairy product made from milk or cream. It is made by churning milk till it changes into solid butterfat and buttermilk.

Mayonnaise vs Butter

While there are many ways to prepare Mayonnaise, it is a white spread made primarily from three main ingredients, namely, vegetable oil, chicken eggs (only the yolk), and vinegar.

Additionally, they may even contain salt, sugar, mustard, and even lemon juice. It is a commonly used spread in burgers, sandwiches, and even salads.

As they contain vegetable oils, they are healthier due to the presence of unsaturated fats (and the absence of trans fat). 

Butter is a pale yellow dairy food made from cream. While preparing butter, the fat is separated from buttermilk. It is used as a spread as well as while cooking, roasting, toasting, and grilling.

It primarily contains saturated animal fat, milk proteins, and water. To avoid melting, butter is refrigerated.

They enhance the taste, flavor, and texture of the food they are added to. Because of the higher saturated fat content, they must be seldom used.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMayonnaiseButter
Fat ContentOne tablespoon of regular mayonnaise has 10 grams of total fat (70% to 85% of the total weight) with only 2 grams of saturated fat. One tablespoon of regular butter has 12 grams of total fat (80% to 90% of the total weight) with 7 grams of saturated fat. 
CaloriesOne tablespoon of regular mayonnaise has 90 calories.One tablespoon of regular butter has 102 calories.
CholesterolOne tablespoon of regular mayonnaise has 4 to 5 milligrams of cholesterol. It has a low cholesterol level.One tablespoon of regular butter has 27 to 32 milligrams of cholesterol. It has a higher cholesterol level.
Vitamins & MineralsMayonnaise is abundant in vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamin, pantothenic acid, iron, sodium, and potassium. Butter has good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium.
Main ingredientsMayonnaise is made up of three main ingredients that are vegetable oil, eggs, and vinegar.Butter consists of three main ingredients that are saturated fats, milk proteins, and water.
TypesThe types of mayonnaise are based on the vegetable oil used & the type of flavorings added to it (garlic, chilies, mustard, lemon juice, etc).The types of butter are based on its preparation methods and types of additives. 

What is Mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise is a spread that is colloquially also called mayo. Mayonnaise was first documented in the 18th century by the French in their cooking books.

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Though there is evidence that mayonnaise has been a part of French & Spanish diets even before its proper documentation.

It was named after Port Mahon which derives its name from Mago Barca, who established the port. 

Mayonnaise is a widely popular & preferred spread. It is also infamous for being calorie & fat-rich. While, its limited consumption is beneficial to health, as it has mostly unsaturated fats & good cholesterol.

Mayonnaise is also rich in vitamins & minerals.

Mayonnaise has a great flavor & texture. Both the flavor & texture is mostly derived from eggs. It has a mild taste due to its main ingredients (eggs & vinegar).

Based on the process of preparation of mayonnaise, they may contain 70 to 85% fat (mostly unsaturated fat). Nowadays, there is an egg-less version of mayonnaise available for vegans.

Moreover, health-conscious people can opt for low-fat mayonnaise which has filler ingredients that give the same texture & taste as normal mayonnaise. 


What is Butter?

Butter is an animal-derived food product that has a wide range of applications. Butter has been used throughout the world from time immemorial.

While butter has been documented centuries ago in various civilizations.

It is mostly prepared from cream. The word butter derives its origin from the Latin word butyrum (which is in turn derived from the Greek word boutyron). 

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Butter is far more popular & used than mayonnaise as it is a well-known dairy product. It should be consumed seldom, and its daily use must be avoided if possible.

Its daily consumption is highly prohibited if one needs to follow a health-conscious diet as it is rich in saturated (animal) fats & calories.

It also contains a sizeable amount of bad cholesterol which can affect heart health (only if larger quantities are consumed).

Butter is nutritious and does aid in better health if consumed in a limited quantity. It is rich in vitamins & minerals.

Butter can be used as a substitute for oil in cooking, roasting, grilling, toasting, and other applications. It has an excellent soft texture.

It tastes delicious as well as produces a pleasant aroma when added while cooking. It is slightly expensive as it is an animal-derived product. 


Main Differences Between Mayonnaise and Butter

  1. Mayonnaise is a vegetable oil derived product prepared as a blend with eggs & vinegar while butter is an animal saturated fat derived product prepared from the agitation of cream.
  2. Mayonnaise is rich in unsaturated fat content and omega fatty acids while butter is rich in saturated fat content.
  3. When consumed in larger quantities, butter negatively affects heart health due to the presence of bad cholesterol while due to the absence of saturated fats, mayonnaise doesn’t have such effects. 
  4. Mayonnaise is mostly used as a spread while butter has way more applications apart from being a spread.
  5. Mayonnaise has lesser calories in comparison to butter.
Difference Between Mayonnaise and Butter

Last Updated : 18 July, 2023

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