I’ll be the first to admit it, I’ve often gone the route of using canned crushed, cubed, or ringed pineapple to make life a bit simpler when making certain recipes. Well, here is a news flash for all of us: This is not very good for our health, and taking a bit more time (and a little additional effort) can make a huge difference. Not only are there significantly fewer calories in fresh pineapple than most canned varieties, but there's also the fact that processed pineapple loses some nutritive value.
Too much sugar
Let’s start with the most obvious fact -- fresh pineapple has far less sugar and fewer calories than canned. A cup of cubed fresh pineapple has roughly 82 calories. Crushed or cubed pineapple packed in water contains a similar number of calories, but water packed pineapple is not readily available. Choose a can with light syrup and you'll consume 131 calories per cup. Some pineapple is sold packed in its own juice and this contains 149 calories per cup. Those of us raised on the blue can of Dole pineapple in heavy syrup are taking in a whopping 198 calories per cup. No wonder I so loved to drink the juice whenever my mom opened a can!
As a nation with a large population of overweight and obese people, we all need to realize that refined sugar is the new bad boy and we need to actively find ways to eliminate it from our daily intake. Pineapple packed in heavy syrup contains an astounding 43 g of sugar per cup – that's almost 7 teaspoons of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to just 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 per day for men.
Nutrients lost when processing takes place
When you serve a fresh pineapple as opposed to canned you are providing 79 mg of Vitamin C per cup -- more than the daily value, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Because Vitamin C is sensitive to processing and heating, the canned versions of pineapple provide just only about 19 mg of vitamin C per cup.
One nutrient, potassium, is actually more plentiful in the canned pineapple versus the fresh. One cup of fresh pineapple offers 180 mg of the mineral, while 1 cup of canned pineapple in any type of liquid provides about 265 mg. You need potassium to regulate your fluid and mineral balance. Fresh pineapple, however, contains almost three times as much folate as canned, which is important to red blood cell functioning.
Better for your budget
Better for your budget
When fresh pineapple is in good supply and readily available in our produce department (as it is now), there is one more significant reason to purchase the fresh rather than the canned version: You will enjoy a much lower cost per serving.
We recommend taking advantage if this delicious tropical fruit while it remains plentiful and inexpensive; you can enjoy it on its own or in any number of recipes.
In fact, here are a few ideas worth trying.