Health Benefits of Applesauce Compared to Raw Apples

Choose raw apples over applesauce.
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Fruit makes up a staple of a healthful diet, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruit each day. Incorporating applesauce into your diet allows for more variety than simply eating whole apples. However, this also comes with a nutritional price, and applesauce does not offer the same health benefits as raw apples.

Dietary Fiber

Opting for raw apples over applesauce boosts your fiber intake. You need several grams of dietary fiber daily to absorb water and soften your stool, so you don't develop constipation. Fiber also offers cardiovascular benefits, because it lowers your blood cholesterol levels. A large raw apple provides 5.4 grams of dietary fiber. This makes up approximately 14 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for men or 21 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. A cup of applesauce, in contrast, contains just 2.7 grams of fiber.

Vitamin C

You'll also consume more vitamin C if you choose raw apples over applesauce. Each large apple provides 10.3 milligrams of vitamin C -- 11 percent of the recommended daily intake for men or 14 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine -- while a 1-cup serving of applesauce contains just 2.7 milligrams. Vitamin C allows you to produce collagen, a protein abundant in your connective tissue. It also supports your metabolism, helping to fuel your mitochondria -- the structures within your cells that produce energy. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also protects your tissues from damage, and getting lots of vitamin C in your diet helps to fight coronary heart disease.


Apple skin contains beneficial antioxidants that you miss out on when you consume applesauce, which is typically made from peeled apples. Antioxidants protect your DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidation -- a process that contributes to diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant compounds in apple skin, called polyphenols, help prevent lipid oxidation, according to a study published in the "Journal of Food Science" in 2009. The amount of antioxidants in raw apples varies, depending on the type of apple you consume. Crab apple varieties provide the most antioxidant benefits, reports the study.

Preparation Tips

Enjoy raw apples as a healthful snack on their own, pair sliced raw apple with all-natural nut butters or use chopped apple to add crunch to a filling salad. If you crave the softer mouthfeel of applesauce, try cooking thinly sliced apples with cinnamon and nutmeg in a small amount of water until soft, and then use the mixture as a topping for oatmeal or plain non-fat Greek yogurt. If you decide to opt for applesauce over whole apples, look for healthier varieties, such as those made without added sugar.

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