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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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38 Comments:

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 :)

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

Great post!

The fat-disease industry has to end.

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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.

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

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

on January 17, 2013

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!

on January 17, 2013

Barb L You say "I buy organic whenever possible" how do you know its organic. I've been wondering this for some time. WE really don't have a set of standards that is monitored for what organic means. So confused.

on January 17, 2013

WHEN are the food manufacters PAY attention!! I went off processed foods and lost weight and felt so much better. I love your posts!!

on January 17, 2013

Sabrina, it's my understanding that ''certified usda organic'' is a reliable label held to strict standards, however the word ''natural'' is just label-trickery with no standard of measurement. I shop mostly at Foodworks in CT. altho our Stop & Shop carries Natures Promise organic brand. I hope this helps! Anyone else care to weigh in on their interpretation of organic?

on January 17, 2013

I don't even peel the apples. I just use my apple corer/slicer (one step), boil them down with a little water, use a food mill to squeeze the applesauce out, put them in two-person serving size containers and freeze. Golden Delicious are the best lemony color. :)

on January 17, 2013

After reading this post I remembered that I have a large jar of Mott's Cinnamon applesauce in my fridge. I just checked the label and it has 27g of sugar per serving. I am mortified!! It went straight into the trash can :(

on January 17, 2013

I either buy unsweetened or make my own. I love cooked apples with a bit of spice. Easy peasy!

on January 17, 2013

I remember being shocked to learn that regular applesauce had HFCS in it! My kids have always eaten the unsweetened version and I always wonder why they feel the need to sweeten something like applesauce.

on January 17, 2013

Dear Snack Girl. This is not about applesauce but about bread. There are so FEW 100% whole grain breads on the market. Why is that? I could not find one in Giant Eagle today. That's the kind of bread we should be eating. Do you know of any with that seal on the side which means it's 100% whole grain>

Lucy

on January 17, 2013

blah - the kids of the world deserve better than this :( great find - i shared it on my facebook page where i highlight "wtf is in that" products each week.

on January 17, 2013

That makes me angry. Apples are already so sweet and tasty on their own, why do they even need to add so much sugar???

Incidentally, applesauce is even easier than that -- I don't bother to remove the peel, I just core and chop, cook them until they're falling apart, and then mash them in a blender, and the applesauce ends up just as smooth as the peel-free kind. Also, I steam the apples to cook them, and then save the water. It has a lightly sweet apple flavor; I call it "Apple Water" and my daughter LOVES it. Kind of like apple juice, except I made it myself so I feel even better about giving it to her. :)

on January 17, 2013

We only buy the unsweetened kind! My husband has picked up the Original one a couple if times and I was NOT happy about it. It tastes horrible too...way too sweet for our tastebuds :-(

on January 17, 2013

It is important to note that even though the applesauce has more sugar it is still healthier than Coke. Applesauce has the redeeming qualities of apples while Coke has no redeeming qualities.

on January 17, 2013

After reading this and having my 6 yr old turn her nose up at a homemade smoothie, I finally looked at how much sugar is in her strawberry probiotic smoothies. 23 grams for 6 oz, only 9 grams of which would be from lactose in normal milk. Last time I'm buying those. 3-1/2 teaspoons excess sugar in every 6 oz!! Blurg! They're even organic, so the sugar is evaporated cane juice... But 1 teaspoon of sugar in 2 oz of milk... No wonder she drank them down so readily!

on January 18, 2013

I would not have been tricked! I always look for "Unsweetened", AND I always read the ingredients label and nutrition facts. ESPECIALLY for a mainstream brand like Motts!

on January 18, 2013

I haven't bought original or regular applesauce in years. I read labels and always by the ones labeled "no added sugar" or natural. Also do the same with yogurt. The low fat versions usually have more sugar to boost the flavor.

on January 20, 2013

My daughters (30 & 25) were brought up on store bought unsweetened or natural applesauce. I also made my own. Back 30 years ago Gerber's and Heinz were scrutinized for selling flavored sugar water for baby juice. I made their food and used diluted unsweetened juices for them.

on April 1, 2013

One day I was in WalMart and was about to buy their brand of applesauce. For some reason I looked at the ingredients. I couldn't get over it....it contained SALT

on April 1, 2013

I just bought 3 48OZ jars of this garbage thinking I did something good--and then did not notice all the added sugar until after I got home.

on October 2, 2019


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