People with higher intakes of fruit have lower rates of heart disease, obesity and cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The fiber in fruit may be responsible for some of these benefits. The good news is that processing fruits does not change its fiber content, making applesauce a good source of fiber.
Fiber in Applesauce
A 1-cup serving of unsweetened applesauce contains 2.7 grams of fiber, and the same serving of sweetened applesauce contains 3 grams of fiber. Any food with 2.5 to 4.9 grams of fiber per serving is considered a good source of fiber, according to the Colorado State University Extension. If you are counting calories, unsweetened applesauce, with 102 calories per serving, makes a better choice than the sweetened applesauce with 167 calories per serving.
Benefits of Fiber
Including more fiber in your diet from foods like applesauce offers a number of health benefits. Fiber, also known as roughage, cannot be digested and adds bulk to stool, helping prevent and alleviate constipation, according to CSU. Because it is not digested, fiber slows the digestion of other foods and helps prolong satiety, which can help with weight management. It also slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream and can help people with diabetes better manage their blood sugars. Fiber in food also prevents you from absorbing cholesterol, which can lower your blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease.
Daily Fiber Needs
Daily fiber needs vary depending on your age, gender and calorie needs. The general rule for fiber is that you need 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories. So if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you need 28 grams of fiber. There are also specific guidelines for men and women based on age. Men between the ages of 19 and 50 need 38 grams of fiber a day, and over the age of 51 need 30 grams of fiber a day. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 25 grams of fiber a day, and over the age of 51 need 21 grams of fiber a day, according to intake recommendations set by the Institute of Medicine.
Uses for Applesauce
Applesauce makes a great snack choice, but there are a number of ways you can add it to your diet and increase your fiber intake. Instead of brown sugar, sweeten your morning oatmeal with a few spoonfuls of applesauce. Reduce the fat in your baked goods and add some fiber by replacing 1/4 to 1/2 of the fat in your recipe with applesauce, as recommended by the University of Illinois Extension. Applesauce also makes a good side dish and dipping sauce for broiled pork chops.