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Is Apple Sauce Healthy? Nutrition Facts and Benefits
Nutrition

Is Apple Sauce Healthy? Nutrition Facts and Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 26, 2022
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7 min

Have you ever heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Of course, we know apples are healthy, but what about the childhood favorite – apple sauce? Are there any health benefits? Let’s talk about it!

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Apple sauce is a popular pureed treat that many enjoy topped with cinnamon. However, many wonder about the nutrition of apple sauce compared to whole apples. 

In this article, we will discuss apple sauce nutrition facts and health benefits. We will even walk through a recipe for delicious low-sugar apple sauce. Read on to learn more! 

Is Apple Sauce Healthy?

Apple sauce is healthy because it is rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories and fat. However, unsweetened apple sauce is the best variety because it is lower in added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.

Apple Sauce vs. Apples

The main difference in the nutrition of apple sauce and apples is the fiber content. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of apple sauce only contains about one gram of dietary fiber. In comparison, 100 grams of a whole Fuji apple with the skin has 2 grams of fiber. 

Additionally, while you can guarantee that an apple does not have any added sugar or preservatives in it, you need to check the ingredients list of your apple sauce at the grocery store to make sure it is unsweetened and free of added sugar. 

However, both apple sauce and whole apples provide the same health benefits from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber

5 Health Benefits of Apple Sauce

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s talk about the main health benefits of apple sauce in your diet. 

#1 It supports a healthy immune system

Many of the primary benefits of apple sauce come from vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Many store-bought apple sauce brands have ascorbic acid in the ingredients list because it is good for the preservation and shelf-life of the product. 

Homemade apple sauce can contain lemon juice, which is a good source of ascorbic acid as well. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, it plays a crucial role in immune functioning and protecting against disease. 

#2 It contains antioxidants 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works to protect cells in the body from the harmful effects of compounds called free radicals. Free radicals are naturally produced in the body and can contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress.

Therefore, a diet rich in antioxidants is essential for reducing the risk for many inflammatory-related disease states. 

#3 It is good for heart health

A 2016 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that studies show individuals deficient in vitamin C have an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.

Therefore, while it is unlikely to be deficient in this vitamin in many countries, such as the United States, consuming foods such as apple sauce may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease-caused deaths. 

#4 It supports healthy eyes

The last benefit of vitamin C we will cover is supporting ocular health. As mentioned above, it is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals. Therefore, this vitamin protects the eyes from the harmful effect of free radicals. 

Additionally, according to the journal Micron, this vitamin plays a role in collagen production. Collagen has many health benefits, including eye health. 

#5 It helps lower blood pressure

Apple sauce also contains 80 milligrams of potassium per cup. While this is only about 2% of your daily recommended potassium intake, it is important to note how consuming potassium can improve your health.

According to Harvard Medical School, diets high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range compared to a diet that does not contain enough potassium. 

Since high blood pressure levels increase the risk of heart disease, eating enough potassium can reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. 

Apple Sauce Nutrition Facts 

Now, let’s dive into more details about apple sauce nutrition and how it can impact your health. 

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)71
Sodium (mg)0
Net Carbs (g)17.7
Fiber (g)0.9
Sugar (g)15.9
Fats (Total)0
Protein (g)0
Cholesterol (mg)0

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/372046/nutrients

Low in calories and fats

Apple sauce is low in calories, with only 71 calories in a 100-gram serving. For reference, 113 grams is one cup of apple sauce. Therefore 100 grams of apple sauce is just under a cup. 

Additionally, apple sauce has zero grams of total fat. Therefore, apple sauce is an excellent food for weight loss, especially when paired with a protein and healthy fat source. 

Zero proteins

A downside of apple sauce is that it has zero grams of protein. Protein is important for muscle gain, repair, and much more. 

So, consume apple sauce with a protein source such as nuts, seeds, or meat. 

High in carbohydrates and sugars 

Since apple sauce is pureed fruit, it contains significant amounts of carbohydrates, with almost 18 grams per 100-gram serving of apple sauce. It also has 16 grams of sugar. 

The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of added sugar per day, while men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day. 

Eating too much sugar can cause weight gain and increase your risks of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. 

However, purchasing or making your own unsweetened apple sauce will help decrease sugar, especially since apples are already so sweet! 

Low amounts of fiber

According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber is essential in the diet to promote regular bowel movements, regulate blood sugars, and even lower blood cholesterol levels. 

More specifically, apples have a type of fiber called soluble fiber in the apple peel. Compared to insoluble fiber, soluble fiber can dissolve in water and form a consistency similar to a gel. 

Soluble fiber can help blood sugar levels and decrease cholesterol, which can lower your risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. 

It is recommended that women and men aged 50 and under should consume 25 and 38 grams of dietary fiber per day, respectively. On the other hand, women and men who are 51 and older should consume 21 and 30 grams of fiber per day, respectively. 

Therefore, while apple sauce does contain some fiber, a whole apple contains high amounts. For the most dietary fiber, pair your apple sauce with whole-grain crackers, nuts, seeds, or another fiber source. 

Fiber will help slow down digestion and absorption of the natural sugars in the apple sauce and prevent blood sugar spikes. 

Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe

Let’s walk through a delicious homemade apple sauce recipe that is simple, low in sugar, and full of nutrition! 

Ingredients

6 pounds of apples, cored and chopped (Using unpeeled apples and keeping the skin on increases the dietary fiber and adds texture to your apple sauce!)

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
  2. Reduce the heat of your cooked apples and simmer for 15 minutes or until desired consistency. 
  3. Let the cooked apples cool completely and chill in the fridge until cold. 
  4. Top with cinnamon to taste and enjoy! 

You could also add some lemon juice to keep the apple sauce fresh for longer. Store in the fridge. 

Many like sweetened apple sauce with honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. However, if you can, consuming unsweetened apple sauce is best. 

For more easy and healthy recipes to spruce up your diet, check out the DoFasting app. This app provides thousands of recipes that are hand-picked by nutrition professionals.

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FAQs

Is apple sauce good for you?

Apple sauce is a healthy snack that provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is low in calories and fat.

Does apple sauce have fiber?

Yes, a 100-gram serving of apple sauce contains about one gram of dietary fiber. However, whole apples contain more fiber.

Is apple sauce good for weight loss?

100 grams of apple sauce contains just 71 calories but contains some fiber to help you feel full. Therefore, apple sauce is good for weight loss.

Is apple sauce fattening?

Apple sauce is naturally fat-free and is not fattening.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Apple sauce is not only a comforting childhood favorite, but it can also be a nutritious and sweet treat. Use apple sauce to replace a dessert that is high in calories and sugar, such as cookies, cakes, or pies.

Apple sauce can still satisfy your sweet tooth but provide you with nutrition and help you feel full.

It tastes sweet, just like a dessert but provides less sugar and more nutrition, such as vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

Pair your apple sauce with nuts, seeds, or low-fat cheese to add some healthy fats and protein. The combination of fiber, protein, and fat will help you feel full and satisfied with this tasty snack.

Opt for unsweetened apple sauce when you are purchasing commercial apple sauce brands to cut down on your added sugar consumption, especially since apple sauce is naturally so sweet!

Lastly, according to the Cleveland Clinic, adding cinnamon can add some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities while also potentially lowering blood sugars and cholesterol.

Conclusion

Apple sauce contains nutrients that can provide many health benefits, such as immune system support, antioxidant effects, lowering blood pressure, and boosting eye health. 

It is low in calories and fat but high in vitamin C while also providing some fiber and potassium. 

However, apple sauce does contain a lot of sugar, especially when you purchase store-bought sweetened varieties.

Making your own apple sauce at home can allow you to control precisely how much sugar you add and make it the healthiest you can. If not, make sure you look at the ingredients list to avoid added sugars. 

Of course, embrace the classic pairing of apple sauce and cinnamon to reap even more health benefits and add flavor, which is especially helpful when you are lowering the amount of added sugar.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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