Is applesauce good for you on weight loss?

Applesauce is a popular snack and side dish, made by cooking down apples into a smooth, soft puree. It’s naturally sweetened by the apples themselves, requires no added sugar, and contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For these reasons, applesauce is commonly considered a healthy food choice. But is it also good for weight loss specifically? There are several factors to consider when determining if applesauce can be part of an effective weight loss diet.

Calorie and macronutrient content

The calorie and macronutrient content of applesauce can vary depending on the ingredients and preparation method. Plain, unsweetened applesauce contains approximately:

  • 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 24 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of fiber

Applesauce contains mostly natural fruit sugars, or carbohydrates, with little protein and almost no fat. The fiber content helps slow digestion, preventing spikes in blood sugar. Overall, plain applesauce is relatively low in calories and high in nutrients. This makes it a smart choice if you’re watching your calorie intake for weight loss.

Calories in flavored or sweetened varieties will be higher, depending on what’s added. Added sugar, oils, and mix-ins like cinnamon can drive up the calorie count. So check labels and stick to plain, unsweetened applesauce if weight loss is your goal.

Satiety and fullness

Applesauce is high in volume but low in calories. Foods with this property can help promote feelings of fullness and satiety (feeling satisfied) after eating.

The fiber and water in applesauce take up space in the stomach. This activates stretch receptors that signal to the brain that you’ve had enough to eat, curbing hunger and appetite.

Applesauce is also a semi-solid food that takes time to chew and swallow. It’s not as easy to overeat compared to drinking calories from juices or soda. Eating slowly allows your body time to release fullness hormones as you eat. This further prevents overeating.

By keeping you feeling full between meals and snacks, applesauce can help reduce overall calorie intake and support weight loss over time.

Low energy density

Energy density is defined as the number of calories per gram of food. Foods with a low energy density provide fewer calories relative to their weight or volume.

Examples include non-starchy fruits and vegetables, broth-based soups, high-fiber whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins like poultry and fish.

Applesauce has a low energy density, containing just 52 calories per 100 grams. Research shows that consuming foods with a low energy density can aid weight loss. It helps moderate portion sizes and calorie intake because you can eat larger volumes for fewer calories.

Nutrition profile

Apples are rich in beneficial plant compounds and nutrients like:

  • Fiber – both soluble and insoluble varieties
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Polyphenols like quercetin

These remain present in applesauce, though some vitamin C is lost during the cooking process.

Fiber is a key factor for weight loss. It slows stomach emptying, promotes fullness, and feeds the healthy gut microbiome. Polyphenols are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit metabolic health.

Overall, plain applesauce can provide valuable nutrition to support overall wellness as part of a weight loss plan.

Low glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) ranks foods by how they impact blood sugar levels. Foods with a lower GI cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin compared to high GI foods.

Apples have a GI around 36, considered low. The fiber content of applesauce further slows its digestion, resulting in a very low GI food.

Eating more low GI foods can enhance weight loss in several ways:

  • Helps control appetite and cravings
  • Provides steady energy levels and avoids energy crashes
  • May increase fat burning
  • Improves insulin sensitivity

The glycemic benefits of applesauce make it a smart choice for blood sugar control as part of a healthy weight loss diet.

Versatile ingredient

Applesauce has many uses beyond just a stand-alone snack. It can:

  • Replace oil or butter in baking recipes to cut calories
  • Boost moisture in lower-fat baked goods
  • Substitute for eggs to hold recipes together
  • Combine with Greek yogurt as an oatmeal topping
  • Layer into parfaits along with chia seeds, granola, or fresh fruit

Having versatile ingredients on hand helps build healthy, well-rounded meals and prevent overreliance on less-nutritious options. The many uses of applesauce support its inclusion in a diet geared for weight loss.

Supports hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial for health and can also benefit weight loss efforts. Drinking enough water supports metabolism, energy levels, exercise performance, and appetite control.

Apples have a high water content, with about 86% coming from water. Applesauce retains much of this moisture, providing valuable hydration in addition to nutrients.

Substituting some higher calorie beverages or snacks with applesauce can help increase hydration for better weight loss results.

Drawbacks of applesauce for weight loss

While applesauce has many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider:

  • High carb count – The 24 grams of carbs per serving is fine for active individuals, but more sedentary folks may prefer a lower carb snack.
  • Lacks protein – Protein is the most filling macronutrient and helps build or maintain muscle on a weight loss diet. Applesauce contains little protein on its own.
  • High calorie varieties – Flavored, sweetened, or mix-in types can be much higher in calories. Stick to plain when possible.
  • Easy to overeat – It’s natural and nutrient-dense, but that can lead to eating too large of portions. Measure out servings to prevent excess calorie intake.

While generally a smart choice, applesauce won’t be right for all diets. Pairing it with a protein source or watching portions may help counter some of these drawbacks for weight loss.

Weight loss diet tips

Here are some tips for integrating applesauce into a healthy weight loss diet:

  • Enjoy a half cup serving as a snack between meals.
  • Use as a substitute for oil or butter when baking treats like muffins, cakes, or breads.
  • Mix it into oatmeal or yogurt for extra moisture and natural sweetness.
  • Pair it with foods that provide protein and healthy fats like nuts, chia seeds, or nut butters.
  • Use as a topping for pancakes or French toast instead of syrup.
  • Mix in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for flavor without added sugar.
  • Substitute it for high calorie dressings or dips.
  • Include it as part of meal prep for the week – in parfaits, smoothies, overnight oats, etc.

Focus on incorporating plain, unsweetened varieties and measure servings carefully to keep calories in check.

Benefits of applesauce for weight loss

To summarize, here are some of the top benefits of applesauce for weight loss:

  • Low in calories for a filling snack or side dish
  • High in volume and fiber to support satiety
  • Provides hydration from the high water content
  • Versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes
  • Nutrient profile including antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols
  • Low glycemic index prevents spikes and crashes in blood sugar
  • Replaces higher calorie ingredients in baked goods

When enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle, applesauce can be a nutritious component of a weight loss plan.

Healthy applesauce recipes

Here are some healthy and delicious recipes incorporating applesauce:

1. Baked Applesauce Oatmeal Cups


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, egg, yogurt, applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, and dried fruit if using.
  3. Divide mixture evenly between the muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

2. Chicken Apple Salad Sandwich


  • 2 (5-6 oz) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • Handful lettuce or spinach leaves


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, yogurt, applesauce, celery, cranberries, lemon juice, and salt/pepper.
  2. Divide chicken salad mixture evenly among the bread slices.
  3. Top two slices with lettuce or spinach leaves.
  4. Close sandwiches and serve.

3. Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oats


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a jar or container, layer the oats, yogurt, applesauce, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir or shake to combine.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, stir the oats and top with additional fruit, nuts, or milk if desired. Enjoy chilled.


Applesauce can be a nutritious component of a diet geared for healthy weight loss. The fiber, nutrients, and hydration it provides support satiety, blood sugar control, and replacing higher calorie ingredients. Just be mindful of portions and added sugars or oils in flavored varieties. Enjoy applesauce as part of a balanced weight loss plan that also includes lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. With the right lifestyle approach, applesauce can help enhance your weight loss journey.

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