Applesauce With Almost Double The Sugar As In A Coke

January 17, 2013   38 Comments

Does that label look sinister to you? I bought this applesauce and shared it with my family without looking at the nutrition facts.

Applesauce Sugar Added

Why? You know, I was thinking it was applesauce. What could be so bad? Yes, it is processed but I make applesauce at home and you just cook down some apples.

Right before I put this jar into the recycling I saw this:

The second ingredient behind apples is high fructose corn syrup and there are 25 grams of sugar in a four ounce serving. Four ounces of Coca-Cola has 13.5 grams of sugar.

I should have known there was a problem when my son kept demanding more. He isn’t usually an applesauce fan. He keeps asking me to buy him another jar.

I was tricked by the packaging. I didn’t even think to look for UNSWEETENED applesauce. Another website called eBrandAid, checked out the packaging and named the one I chose a “Health Food Imposter” see: Label Trickery: Finding a Healthy Applesauce.

Unsweetened applesauce, which Mott's makes, is only 11 grams of sugar. That means they added 14 grams of sugar, or almost 3 teaspoons to ½ cup of applesauce in their regular product. Doesn’t that seem excessive?

I know I am back here, railing against added sugar, but I can’t get over how something as innocuous as APPLESAUCE becomes a vehicle for high fructose corn syrup. I know many parents who don’t give their kids soda but wouldn’t think twice about applesauce.

My advice to you is to pay attention (unlike me) and buy unsweetened applesauce or make your own. I peel the apples, slice them, add a little water, and simmer until cooked. Then I mash them with a fork and add some cinnamon.

Do you think this label looks deceiving? Would you have been tricked?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 38 )

I like the market pantry brand unsweetened apple sauce, its just apples. For a treat I've been known to buy Gogo sgueeZ Apple sauce packets They have an "Apple Peach Passion" that I like to use as a dipping sauce for pork on ocassion, and the sweetner it uses is apple juice concentrate, (ingredient list: Apple, Peach, Apple Concentrate, Apple Juice Concentrate, Passion Fruit Juice) I don't feel so bad eating that, but I generally just reach for the unsweetened apple sauce, it really is good enough on it's own :)

We love applesauce at our house and I too admit I have made this same mistake when shopping with a screaming child. However, I canned my own applesauce last fall when we had a bazillion apples and nothing even comes close. I added just a touch of vanilla to the original cooking of the apples and it.was.amazing.

I always buy the unsweetened and I am shocked about the amount of sugar added in the sweetened. I never really looked. Supply and demand? People need to stop buying it and they will stop making it. Thank you for bring it to the attention for those who did not realize the added amount of sugar added.

OMG!! Had no idea! Thats craziness!!! I always but natural, unsweetened and organic from Trader Joe's or I make my own, it's so easy! Great post!

I've been making applesauce for my daughter now for about 5 years. She won't even touch the stuff from the grocery store anymore, she just wants my applesauce so I make I have some in the freezer at all times. My daughter loves me to warm it up for her. Mmmm!

I always look for the word natural when buying applesauce but I also look at the calories. As soon as I see 50 calories for a half cup, I know there is no sugar. I do not want sugar to be replaced with artificial sweeteners either so I check for that.

Reading the ingredients, nowadays, is the most important thing. Especially before giving anything to children. My daughter is 9 months old and my husband and I cook all her meals at home. Once in a while we resort to the bottled foods but only after reading what's in them. You maybe doing them more harm than good otherwise.

Well, I just went running like a crazy woman to my pantry. Whew! mine has no added sugar, just natural ingredients. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I would have never thought about it.

Yep, I was definitely fooled. A group I'm involved in supplies food for lunches at a school that doesn't meet the requirements for a subsidized lunch program. I do my best to buy healthy foods (although they are all prepacked) within a pretty tight budget. I really thought applesauce was a pretty safe and healthy choice. I'll be reading those labels way more carefully from now on!

Packaging is very misleading! Whenever purchasing canned or packaged fruit, read the label and purchase those without added sugars.If you purchase fruits such as peaches, pineapple or those lovely blends that our kids are drawn to, look for those packed in water or 100% juice without added sugar or sweeteners. My kids love the new Dole tropical fruit bowls that are packed in 100% juice. They are great for packing lunch!

When I first started watching what I ate, I too fell for the normal applesauce. It wasn't until I read a recipe that used unsweetened applesauce,that I realized I had been tricked!

This is the one thing I have never bought. Always unsweetened or natural. My kid doesn't know the difference nor does the hubs.

Shame how brands try to dupe you.

I too have been duped by added sugar in apple sauce. Can't always trust the "natural" claim either. I always flip it over and check now, same with my pb&j.

Another reason to make your own! I started reading labels on everything I pick up from the stores. Time consuming and doesn't always change my mind from items I buy but at least I am more aware of what I'm buying. Those items I don't buy I do make from scratch like applesauce. REALLY, why mess with something so simple and easy... ugh.

Great post!

The fat-disease industry has to end.

There's no packaged food that is exempt from label trickery because what you read this week may sound healthy but next week you may find HFCS has been sneaked in! I have been fooled so many times that I just read'em all now! I buy organic whenever possible and naturally sweetened; somehow that agrees with my personal standards. [i.e., last night Bob brought over a pkg of frozen stuffed clams, they were from Rhode Island for goodness sake, a neighboring state! Some of the mystery ingredients were hard to pronounce plus the print was eensy! I'll eat them this once to be polite but now I'll come up with my own recipe for freezing stuffed clams! When something is frozen why are all those chemicals added? it can't be shelf-life. My freezer runneth over with good stuff with lotsa shelf life!] Thanks for keeping us on the lookout for label trickery, Snack Girl! It might be alot of work but so worth it IMO!

Even healthier - I core apples, leave the peel on, and blend in my Vitamix, add a couple squirts of lemon juice water to help it blend, maybe a tiny bit of agave depending on how sweet the apples are, a dash of cinnamon, and my kids gobbled it up. No cooking required.

I haven't made my own applesauce in a while (we don't eat it that often) but when I did I leave the peels on when cooking the apples and then use a ricer to mash them. Super easy!

I buy the no sugar added variety and eat it sparingly, so I think I'm ok.

A Sunday morning breakfast treat in our home is Old Fashioned Oatmeal; spooned into shallow bowls, with a generous blop of unsweetened applesauce, cold, from the refrigerator. Then, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. The cold applesauce with the hot oatmeal is delicious!

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