Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Grocery store lessons: Big Slice apples

4 Comments

Oh hai. Did you miss me? Well, I missed you! Sorry for the hiatus. We were moving and I was starting a new job (eeee!!!) and we had no internets. But, now it’s the weekend (no, sorry, it’s Monday, sit back down) as I write this and it’s a beautiful day for blogging on the balcony with a Beau’s. I’d like to thank my friend Hannah for the blogspiration, making it easy for me to jump right back into it.

Have you seen this Big Slice product? I hadn’t, but Hannah wanted me to confirm her suspicions that it was essentially health washing (and certainly price jacking) of apple pie filling.

Let’s do a little comparison shall we?

Here’s the nutrition info for the Big Slice cinnamon french toast flavour:

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And here’s the nutrition info for a standard serving of apple pie filling:

IMG_3567

Naturally one would have to be by weight and the other by volume but let’s assume they’re similar serving sizes. They both clock in at 80 calories, contain pretty much the same amounts of carbs (20 g in the pie filling versus 21 in the “snack”) which consist of mostly sugar (16 g in the pie filling and 17 g in the “snack” – that’s roughly four teaspoons of sugar in that little pouch!). They also both contain essentially no other nutrients although the “snack” does contain a whole whack of vitamin C (because it’s used as a preservative). The ingredients are strikingly similar as well; don’t be fooled by the “snack” listing “apple and/or white grape juice concentrate” that’s just sugar by another name.

So, now that we know that these apple “slices” are basically over-packaged, over-priced apple pie filling, just for fun, let’s look at how they compare to an actual apple. One medium apple is approximately 180 grams (more than twice as much as the apple “snack”) but only contains about 95 calories. It does contain more sugar than the apple “snack” (about 1/2 teaspoon more) but none of that is added sugar and for more than twice the serving size it’s a much better choice. It also has a bit more than twice the fibre of the apple “snack” making it a good source of fibre rather than a middling one. It’s convenient, coming with it’s own protective packaging (aka skin) and affordable (generally about 80 cents at the store), and environmentally friendly (the core is biodegradable). All told, a much better choice than the Big Slice apple snacks.

Don’t buy the hype. Big Slice apples are not a “healthy snack”. If you want to send your child to school with a processed apple coated in sickly sweet sauce then consider portioning out a can of apple pie filling into Tupperware containers. You might not be saving your child from cavities and poor eating habits but at least you’d be doing your bank account and the environment a favour.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

4 thoughts on “Grocery store lessons: Big Slice apples

  1. I LOVE YOU.

    I knew this was fishy! And I knew you wouldn’t let me down.

    For the record, I did talk to the mom who sent this as the “fruit” portion of her 5yo’s lunch. She admitted that she hadn’t read the label, or even opened one of the pouches to see what was inside… she said she bought them on a whim & that her 8 and 11 yos “raved” about them. She thought, like I did until I opened it, that it was a snack-size portion of dried apple “chips”.

    She agreed that just sending an apple would be better in future. :p

    Like

  2. I have yet to see that in my grocery store but this is a fantastic comparison! I haven’t heard the term ‘health washing’ before but I LOVE it.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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