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Is Eating Applesauce Healthier Than Eating Apples?

Last updated April 23, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Apples are fruits that are loaded with many nutrients and antioxidants. Applesauce is a typically sweetened puree of stewed apples.

Apples are fruits that are loaded with many nutrients and antioxidants. This fruit has a moderately sweet and refreshing taste and its uniqueness lies in its tartness that varies depending on the variety of the fruit. Applesauce is a typically sweetened puree of stewed apples. Extra flavorings like sugar and honey are also added to applesauce to give it more sweetness. 

Health benefits of apple:

Apples are one of the healthiest fruits known due to the antioxidant flavonoids contained in them. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the saliva in the mouth that can help reduce tooth decay risks by lowering bacteria levels. According to a research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consumption of flavonoid-rich apples reduces the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 23%. Not just the fruit, but the peel is also said to contain a lot of health benefits. Apple peels contain certain compounds known as triterpenoids that protects the liver, colon and breast against cancer cells, according to researchers from Cornell University.

The National Cancer Institute recommends a high fiber intake, like eating apples, to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The fiber also binds with the fat in the intestine and can help lower cholesterol levels. Red apples contain an antioxidant known as quercetin that boosts the immune system.

Health benefits of applesauce:

Unsweetened puree of apple is very healthy. However, commercially prepared applesauce is sweetened and is made without the peel, which lowers the fiber and phytochemical content in the final product. A study published by the researchers from ResearchGate has noted that the antioxidant properties in the peel are 4 to 15 times higher than that present in the flesh of the fruit. Like apples, applesauce also contains fiber and vitamin C. When applesauce is homemade without any extra added sugars and flavors, it contains only lower calories and is fat-free. However, applesauce bought from commercial stores tends to be heavier on the calorie count. The dietary fiber keeps the digestive system functioning smoothly and applesauce can serves as part of a teatime snack at a lower calorie count. Not just as a snack, but applesauce can be added as food ingredient to various other dishes. Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that when margarine, oil, or butter that is listed in a food recipe is replaced with applesauce, the finished product is seen to have lesser calories and more fiber. 

To conclude, there are a lot of study researches that have indicated that the health benefits of apple and applesauce remain the same, when the latter is prepared at home and without any added flavors. Applesauce must be prepared with the peels and must be unsweetened so that the nutritional benefit of the fruit remains the same.

However, a research by the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, pointed out that intake of solid fruits affect the satiety after a meal more than the pureed form of the fruit.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: April 23, 2018
Last updated: April 23, 2018