Canned Fruit: Is It Healthy or Not?

Read this before you reach for your can opener.

While canned fruit is a quick and easy option when you’re craving something out of season, the other contents in the can definitely affect how good it is for you. Here’s what you need to know about the canned fruit hanging out in your pantry.

If you want more control over exactly what goes into your canned fruit, learn how to can at home with this guide.

Types of Canned Fruit

Canned fruit is usually split up by what type of liquid is canned with the fruit. Typically, there are three kinds of packing liquid: heavy syrup, light syrup and juice. While there isn’t much difference between the calorie counts of fresh and canned fruit, the packing liquid has an impact. Here are the calorie counts of the different types.

Canned Fruit in Heavy Syrup

Heavy syrup contains water, corn syrup and sugar, and it has the most calories of the three. A 15-1/4-ounce can of sliced peaches contains about 10 ounces of fruit and 2/3 cup of syrup, which adds about 200 calories.

Canned Fruit in Light Syrup

Light syrup is made from water and sugar. A 15-ounce can featuring light syrup contains about the same volume of peaches (10 ounces) and a little over 1/2 cup of syrup, tacking on about 85 calories.

Canned Fruit in Juice

Juice-packed fruits are packaged in juice concentrate that has been diluted with water. A 14-ounce can of juice-packed peaches contains roughly the same amount of fruit and about 1/2 cup of juice for only about 60 additional calories.

Did you know you can make sorbet with just a can of fruit? Here’s the 3-step how-to.

Which Canned Fruit Is Healthiest? 

Due to calorie count and overall nutrition value, juice-packed canned fruit is the healthiest choice. The heavy and light syrups are of little nutritional value other than calories and are very high in sugar. The fruit juice contains way less added sugar than syrup-packed canned fruit and adds a small amount of vitamin C.

Now that you know which type of canned fruit to go with, whip up a few of these recipes that include a can of fruit.

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Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.