Is Apple Sauce Good For Weight Loss
Apple sauce is one of those things that we love to eat even though it’s not exactly good for us. It can be used as a tasty dip, spread on toast, mixed into oatmeal or poured over ice cream — all without adding any calories at all. But just because apple sauce has zero calories doesn’t mean you should go wild when indulging. In fact, if you’re looking to lose weight, eating too much apple sauce could actually do more harm than good.
The reason why? Apples contain pectin, which acts like a natural broom by sweeping out plaque from our teeth, but also increases water retention (which makes you bloated) and can cause constipation. When it comes to nutrition, there are some types of apple (like Fuji and Gala varieties) that are better for you than others (Granny Smiths tend to have higher amounts). And when it comes to weight loss, there are two main factors to consider: how much fiber and how much added sugar is present. The less sugar and the more fiber, the better.
While most of us don’t realize it, apples contain about 5 grams of naturally occurring fructose per serving. This means that every single teaspoon of apple sauce contains roughly 2 teaspoons of naturally occurring sugars, which come straight from the apple itself. Since fruit juice often has a much higher concentration of sugar, choosing a pure-apple version of the same product will ensure you consume fewer calories overall while still getting the nutritional value that you need.
Fiber isn’t just found in fruits; it’s also contained in vegetables such as cucumbers, celery, carrots and leafy greens. Fiber helps keep our digestive system running smoothly, and it plays a large role in keeping our blood sugar levels regulated. In addition, fiber promotes healthy bowel movements, which is great for anyone who suffers from constipation or diarrhea. Some people think that fiber aids in weight management because it keeps food moving through their stomach faster so they feel full sooner. However, this effect only applies to foods containing lots of soluble fiber, such as oats, barley, chickpeas and prunes. Soluble fiber cannot absorb water, so its function is purely mechanical. If you want to know more about the difference between insoluble and soluble fibers, check out How Fats & Oils Work.
Since apples aren’t known for having high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber, it might seem counterintuitive that consuming them would aid in weight control. However, studies show that people who consumed diets rich in fiber lost more weight than those who didn’t. Plus, since fiber takes longer for the body to break down, it won’t contribute to spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. Eating fiber-rich foods can also prevent overeating, especially during mealtimes, by making you feel fuller.
So what does this mean for your favorite dipping sauce? Read on to find out.
Why Is Apple Sauce Bad for You?
In order to understand how bad apple sauce is for you, we first have to look at why it can be beneficial for certain people. To get the maximum amount of nutrients from apples, it’s best to eat the skin. By doing so, you’ll be able to extract the majority of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many commercial products strip away the skins before processing, leaving behind nothing but empty calories. Fortunately, there are several brands of applesauces available that include the peel, called “flesh-free” because they’ve been processed with minimal heat. These versions provide a lot more flavor than the original, but they’re still relatively high in calories and fat, depending on the brand.
When applesauce is heated, the enzymes responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates start to work, causing glucose to break down into simple sugars. The downside of this enzymatic reaction is that it creates small amounts of acetic acid, which gives the apple sauce its distinctive vinegar taste. Acetic acid is essentially undigestible, so it passes right through the gut untouched. As a result, people who consume excessive quantities of acetic acid can experience bloating, gas and heartburn. Although excess consumption of apple sauce wouldn’t necessarily put someone on a strict diet, it could potentially lead to weight gain. A study published in Nutrition Reviews showed that overweight men who ate five servings of baked goods with apple sauce gained significantly more weight than those who ate the same items sans sauce. Also, a different study reported that women who drank a glass of milk with breakfast every day had twice the rate of weight gain compared to those who didn’t drink the milk.
If you’re trying to cut back on calories, try substituting applesauce for butter, oil or other fats. Or mix in ground flaxseed for extra omega-3 fatty acids. While these options may sound healthier, remember that you shouldn’t replace whole grains with refined ones unless directed to by a doctor. Refined flours typically contain a lower protein content than whole-grain flour, and it’s possible that they could negatively affect your cholesterol levels.
For a healthy snack that tastes delicious, give applesauce a chance! Just make sure to choose an unsweetened variety and stick to three servings total each week.
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