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Apples - variation in sugar content?

by (289)
Updated about 7 hours ago
Created September 26, 2010 at 9:53 PM

I know some users here choose not to eat apples because of the "bags of sugar" label, but assuming I do choose to eat them, has anyone studied the different varieties for variation in sugar and carb content? There's a huge difference in taste between a red delicious (which I can't stand, way too sweet) and a tart pie apple like Cortland (which are wonderful and very much in season right now).

It seems like modern apple varieties have been bred to be as sweet as possible since the modern palate is phobic about anything with a sour taste. If anyone has a link where this has actually been measured, please post--and thanks!

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30 · May 03, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Modern apples are a man-made creation. They did not exist as they do now in the Paleolithic era. Apple trees need to e grafted to produce consistent varieties. Check out "Botany of Desire".

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2399 · September 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I don't eat apples but awesome info Matthew. Kudos.

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22913 · September 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Not everything a paleo person would have eaten is necc healthy or optimal. Whether overall health or weight loss, both are mildly compromised by fructose in fruit. I don't justify by what would a small brained post primate do? I justify by, is the flavor worth the potential health risk, as both are very minor, it's usually not a tough call either way

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289 · September 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

No worries here. I love apples, especially good sour ones.

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2339 · September 26, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Please post back after you read it.

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289 · September 26, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Thanks, I can get the full article from my local ag research university. Much appreciated.

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7 Answers

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40 · September 26, 2010 at 11:33 PM

My philosophy is if it grows on a tree and is in it's natural form, it's probably ok. If I get hung up on the minutia, it drives me crazy. Could a paleo person have eaten an apple? Would they? Good enough. That being said I prefer the tarter varieties, as I have lost my tolerance for very sweet things.

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22913 · September 28, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Not everything a paleo person would have eaten is necc healthy or optimal. Whether overall health or weight loss, both are mildly compromised by fructose in fruit. I don't justify by what would a small brained post primate do? I justify by, is the flavor worth the potential health risk, as both are very minor, it's usually not a tough call either way

Fda7109dbdcb020364ec1ea9eb918027
30 · May 03, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Modern apples are a man-made creation. They did not exist as they do now in the Paleolithic era. Apple trees need to e grafted to produce consistent varieties. Check out "Botany of Desire".

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19220 · September 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

This was the best I could find. It seems that people rarely publish the sugar content of apple varieties. Most commercially available varieties seem to have similar sugar content. I think this is hard to judge by taste as sour flavours can mask sweetness. Gala apples taste much sweeter than braeburn even though this study suggests they have less sugar. It is also hard to standardise sugar content of fruit as it can vary due to climate, rainfall and time of harvest.

I would guess that generally the size of the apple will have more influence on the sugar content than the variety. If you eat apples eat the ones that taste best to you.

The following is from this paper, many of the apples tested are regional European apples: Sugar-, acid- and phenol contents in apple cultivars from organic and integrated fruit cultivation.

OBJECTIVE: This study was carried out to obtain data about the sugar-, acid- and phenol content of apple cultivars from organic and integrated fruit cultivation, with reference to their role in human health and especially for diet recommendations

apples---variation-in-sugar-content?

Proportion of sugar components of integrated and organically grown cultivars.

CONCLUSION: Knowledge of the sugar content is very important for diabetic patients, owing to the assumption of general diet recommendations that 100 g fruit contain 12 g carbohydrates. This applies to most well-known cultivars like Golden Delicious or Gala, but not to most of the regional cultivars. For diabetics, it is necessary to know the carbohydrate content of food precisely, in order to adapt the amount of insulin to the ingestion. So, it is helpful to know the sugar content of each regional cultivar. Moreover, very high levels of phenolic compound in organically grown cultivars, and with it its importance for human health leads to the recommendation to eat regional fruits from organic fruit growing instead of those grown under integrated cultivation.

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2399 · September 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I don't eat apples but awesome info Matthew. Kudos.

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3690 · September 26, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Sorry not to bring a definitive answer to your question, but I just wanted to add my experience with wild apples that go along with your observations.

I found a crabapple tree the other day while walking in the woods and was delighted by the idea of really gathering food and eating it. Those small apples were so sour that my tongue was burning after eating just a couple. It goes along with the idea that fruits in nature are probably not as addictive as today's varieties. I had to stop eating them, not because I had had enough, but because it actually started to physically hurt.

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15976 · September 26, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I would wager that the more sour/tart tasting varieties (granny smith comes to mind) would have relatively less sugar. Here is a link that has a PDF you can download that seems to be exactly what you are looking for: http://www.springerlink.com/content/w763735512l3q668/

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2339 · September 26, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Please post back after you read it.

16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9
289 · September 26, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Thanks, I can get the full article from my local ag research university. Much appreciated.

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2004 · September 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Our Crab apples taste quite nice - when they are ripe enough, perhaps after the first frost. Not sugary, just fruity.

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20787 · September 27, 2010 at 6:15 AM

Crab apples are considered 'cooking apples' They taste better cooked. Perhaps that is what our ancestors also did. Fire was a very convenient invention!

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1449 · September 27, 2010 at 4:02 AM

If you're stressed over eating a measly apple because you're worried it might somehow destroy your delicate metabolism I would venture to say you're either afflicted with a very dangerous underlying physical health condition or alternatively you're suffering from a deluded mental state and are taking this Paleo stuff way too seriously.

16ac9720030cbf0908f56da404ab01b9
289 · September 27, 2010 at 3:21 PM

No worries here. I love apples, especially good sour ones.

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