Canned Fruit: More Damage Than Good?

Growing up I was fortunate enough to have access to fresh produce: fruits, vegetables, protein etc. you name it I usually ate it organically grown. While my lunch box was packed with a fresh apple, many of my friends all had canned oranges or peaches. I’ve always had this partial mindset towards fresh produce and have found canned fruit gross, for lack of a better word. In addition to my disgust, I have always had this preconceived notion that it was actually worse than real fruit, or even worse to eat this canned fruit than no fruit at all. I understand that many families do not have the ability to provide fresh fruit to their children as it does cost a pretty penny and is also more time consuming to assemble cut up fruit rather than just throwing a pre-packaged item in the lunchbox. However, this curiosity drove me to ask the question: Is eating canned fruit worse than eating no fruit at all?

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In order to answer this question, I wanted to look at two canned fruits in addition to their fresh counterparts. I picked Del Monte canned peaches and pears. Here are the nutrition facts for both:

Canned Peaches



Canned Pears





(multiply by 4 in order to get 4 oz)





After looking at these nutrition facts, it appears that a 4 oz. fresh peach in comparison to 4 oz. canned peaches is better in calorie, carbohydrate, and sugar content. However, there is a slight increase in fat content in the fresh peach, but not much. As for a 7 oz. pear compared to 7 oz. canned pears, they are both rather similar except for the fresh pear has no sugar content whereas the canned pear has an alarming amount of sugar.

If I were to test this I would do a randomized double blind trial and have three groups of children ages 10-13.

  • children who eat a package of canned fruit per day for a month
  • children who eat a fresh piece of fruit per day for a month
  • children who eat no fruit for a month

Before the monthly experiment began, I would record height, weight, age and take a blood sample to record blood sugar. Although this experiment may have some issues because we cannot control if some children have faster metabolisms or are more active, however it is randomized and therefore there is a variety. After a month, I would retake the health measurements and compare all the results.
To wrap it up, I wanted to focus on the sugar content in these food groups because I believe sugar to be “the silent killer” in declining health. I think the takeaway in this blog post is to be aware of the nutrition facts of what your eating and to be aware of how much sugar you’re actually consuming in seemingly “healthy” options.


7 thoughts on “Canned Fruit: More Damage Than Good?

  1. Taylor Weinstein

    Hi Natalie!
    This was a very interesting topic that I never have thought of before. For me I just have a few helpful suggestions. I didn’t think there was enough information related to science. I would go on to google and try to find more of a study and relate it back to information we talked about in class. You had some great information but I feel like you just summarized. This article has taught me about about canned fruit that I didn’t know before. Many kids want to go for the fruit that has more sugar because there kids. There was a study done related to science that talked about, canned peaches and it was very interesting stating that peaches belonged on the healthy side and how they are making a comeback. this had a lot of good useful information and it talked about the food pyramid and a healthy diet.

  2. Alyssa Marie Frey

    Hi Natalie,
    This was a very interesting topic to consider, I have never even thought about the differences between canned and fresh fruit to our health. I was never a huge fan of canned fruit either but I didn’t think they would have that much of a difference in nutritional value that fresh fruits. I found this interesting article that shows how canned fruits and vegetables can be just as good for you as fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because if the fresh produce is stored for too long, they lose some of their nutritional value. Vegetables can lose Vitamin C after being stored for several days. Basically, everyone should eat their fruits and veggies no matter if they’re fresh, frozen, or canned.

  3. Olivia Mei Zhang

    Hey Natalie,
    I never went through a “canned fruit” phase in elementary school. My mom always believed that the fruit was not fresh and contained loads of preservatives. After reading the nutritional facts of the canned peach and the fresh peach, I was surprised that the fresh peach had a slightly higher fat content than the canned peach. I would assume that the canned peach, packed with a greater amount of sugar and preservatives, would have a higher fat content. I think the experiment you proposed has the right idea, but I would exemplify hypothesis testing. For example, the null hypothesis: the type of peach (canned or fresh) does NOT have an effect on the weight of children and the alternative hypothesis: the type of peach (canned or fresh) has an effect on the weight of children. I agree with Isaac’s comment that in the future, you should dig for some credible studies to add depth to your blog. However, great topic and use of digital media!

  4. Caroline Sorrentino

    This was a great post! Your use of images really helped me understand and continue reading as opposed to just seeing everything all typed out. Great job! I never liked canned fruit. It was always way too sweet and tasted like you were eating thick sugar. If I ever had to eat it, I would drain all the juice out. It makes me upset that we have it served here at state college. We have some fresh apples and bananas but an entire “fruit bar” with artificial peaches, pineapple, etc. You can tell it is not fresh pineapple but the color. It looks more white than the typical bright yellow. I actually found this from the Penn State website about how to can peaches properly and how it isn’t so bad for you after all. They mention how you don’t need to use sugar to preserve them and there are multiple alternatives. Though I don’t know if this is what the dining hall serves…

  5. Dana Corinne Pirrotta

    Hey Natalie,
    Like you, my parents never packed canned fruit in my lunch box! Growing up, my mom was a fitness instructor and my dad was a Marine, so we only ate fresh, uncannned fruit. Although I really really do love canned peaches, I have to agree with your hypothesis that it is probably better for us to eat no fruit at all instead of these sugary, canned ones. I like that you outline an experiment, but I am wondering if maybe not allowing any children to eat fruit (your control group) is ethical. Kids really need to be eating their fruits and vegetables, and not allowing kids to get these necessary vitamins from fruit throughout the duration of the experiment could damage their immune systems or perhaps even stunt their development.
    Here is a cool “How It’s Made” video
    about canned peaches!

  6. Isaac Chandler Orndorff

    Hi Natalie! Very interesting topic, but I don’t think Andrew will grade well for “if I were to do a study, I would do THIS”. Instead, go on Google scholarly and try to find a study already done on this. Like you, I would often eat fruit fresh and I don’t think my mom ever packed me fruit in snacks. It makes sense that fresh fruit is better for you than fruit in cups, as most of the time those are for kids’ lunchboxes, and because of that will be filled with more sugar to make it taste better to them. Nothing beats a fresh red apple to me, but I understand why kids want their fruit with more sugar.

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