How many carbs are in 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 24 grams of carbohydrates in 1 cup (245 grams) of unsweetened applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce contains mostly natural sugars from the apples, including fructose, glucose, and sucrose. The exact carbohydrate content can vary slightly depending on the variety and ripeness of the apples used.

Calculating the Carbs in Applesauce

To determine the carbohydrate content of applesauce, we need to look at the nutrition facts label. A typical label for 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce shows the following:

Nutrient Amount
Total Carbohydrates 24g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 21g

The total carbohydrate count includes all sugars, starches, and fiber. However, we can subtract the fiber amount since it is indigestible. So the total digestible carbs in 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce is:

24g total carbs
– 2g fiber
= 22g net carbs

This nets out to about 24g total carbs and 22g net digestible carbs per cup.

Types of Carbs in Applesauce

The carbohydrates in unsweetened applesauce come mostly from natural fruit sugars. The nutrition label shows 21g of sugar per cup.

The main sugars found in applesauce include:

– Fructose – the primary sugar in apples, makes up about 50% of their sugar content
– Glucose – makes up around 25% of apple sugars
– Sucrose – table sugar, combines fructose and glucose

Apples also contain small amounts of starch, contributing to the total carbohydrate count.

During the process of making applesauce, the fiber-rich apple peels are removed, resulting in a lower fiber content than whole apples. Fiber makes up about 8% of the carbohydrate content in unsweetened applesauce.

Carb Differences Between Varieties

There can be subtle differences in carbohydrate content between different apple varieties used for applesauce.

For example, a cup of unsweetened applesauce made from granny smith apples may have slightly more carbs than applesauce from fuji apples. This is due to natural variations in sugar and starch composition between apple types.

Here’s a comparison of the carb differences in 1 cup portions of unsweetened applesauce made from different apple varieties:

Apple Variety Total Carbs Net Carbs
Granny Smith 26g 24g
Fuji 23g 21g
Gala 22g 20g
Honeycrisp 24g 22g

As you can see, the differences are minor, generally varying by only 2-3g of carbs. The varietal with the lowest carbs is gala apples.

Effect of Ripeness on Carb Content

The ripeness of the apples also impacts the carbohydrate profile.

As apples ripen, their starch converts into sugars. So very ripe apples will be higher in sugars like fructose and glucose, increasing the total carbohydrates.

Unripe apples that are more green tend to be lower in sugars and higher in starch. So applesauce made from greener apples may have slightly less digestible carbs.

Here’s a comparison of the carb content in 1 cup portions of unsweetened applesauce made from apples at different ripeness levels:

Ripeness Total Carbs Net Carbs
Unripe 22g 20g
Ripe 24g 22g
Very ripe 26g 24g

The difference isn’t huge, but applesauce made from greener apples will be around 2-4g lower in carbs per cup compared to very ripe apples.

Carbs in Homemade vs. Store-Bought

You can also make unsweetened applesauce at home, which gives you some control over the ingredients.

Homemade applesauce is usually similar or slightly lower in carbs compared to store-bought varieties.

This is because homemade versions use the whole apple, including the skin which provides extra fiber. The skin contains about half the fiber content of an apple.

Store-bought applesauce often doesn’t include peel/skin and has the fiber removed. So it may contain 1-2g more net carbs per cup than homemade.

However, in both cases the differences are small enough that they can be considered equivalent in terms of carbohydrate content per serving.

Effect of Additives on Carb Count

Some store-bought varieties may include extra ingredients like ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C added as a preservative.

Small amounts of additives like preservatives, flavorings, or spices do not significantly affect the carbohydrate profile. They contribute negligible calories and carbs per serving.

The more important factor is whether the applesauce contains added sugars.

Sweetened applesauce can have anywhere from 5-15g of added sugar per serving, increasing the total carb count.

Always check the nutrition label closely to see if sugary ingredients like fruit juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, honey, or cane sugar have been added.

Carb Count by Serving Size

Here is the carb count for different serving sizes of unsweetened applesauce:

Serving Total Carbs Net Carbs
1/4 cup 6g 5g
1/3 cup 8g 7g
1/2 cup 12g 11g
1 cup 24g 22g

As you’d expect, the carb count scales proportionately with the serving size. So 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce would contain around half the carbs of a full 1 cup serving.

This lines up with the typical carbohydrate content of 24g per cup that’s provided on nutrition labels.

Carb Count in Recipes

When unsweetened applesauce is used as an ingredient in recipes, you simply need to factor in the number of servings based on the amount added.

For example, if a muffin recipe calls for 1/2 cup of applesauce, you would count ~11g of net carbs added from the applesauce per muffin.

Applesauce is sometimes used in baked goods as a substitute for oil, so it can be a useful way to reduce fat and calories without majorly impacting carbs.

However, do pay attention to any other sugars or carbs added to the recipe, which will increase the total carb count.

Effect on Blood Sugar

Despite their natural sugar content, apples have a low glycemic index of only 39. This means they produce a relatively gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

The applesauce making process does remove some of the beneficial fiber that helps control blood sugar response. However, unsweetened varieties are still considered low glycemic.

Research suggests the glycemic index of unsweetened applesauce falls around 51, a medium level.

So applesauce eaten in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to cause major spikes in blood glucose or insulin when consumed by healthy individuals.

However, as with any fruit, those with disorders like diabetes need to be mindful of portion sizes to keep their carbohydrate intake within recommended guidelines.

Carb Count Comparison With Other Fruits

Unsweetened applesauce contains around 22g of digestible carbs per cup, which is a medium-high amount compared to other fruits.

Here’s how it compares to some other common fruits and fruit sauces:

Fruit Net Carbs per Cup
Applesauce 22g
Banana 27g
Grapes 16g
Peach 15g
Pear 27g
Pineapple 20g
Strawberries 12g
Watermelon 8g

Fruits like bananas, pears, and grapes have a similar carb count per serving as applesauce. Berries and melons tend to have less carbs in a typical serving.

So unsweetened applesauce’s carb content is fairly average, allowing for easy incorporation into a healthy diet. Just be mindful of portion sizes.


In summary, unsweetened applesauce contains about 24g total carbohydrates and 22g of net digestible carbs per 1 cup serving.

The carbs come mostly from natural fruit sugars like fructose, glucose, sucrose, and a small amount of starch.

The exact amount can vary slightly based on ripeness of the apples, variety, and whether skin is included or not. But overall, the carb content remains fairly consistent.

When enjoyed in moderation as part of healthy diet, applesauce can be a tasty lower-fat fruit option that provides key vitamins and minerals.

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