With National Peach Month upon us, there are a lot of tempting fresh peach recipes to make with seasonal stone fruit. If you live in a part of the country where fresh peaches are unavailable, it’s still possible to celebrate peaches during the month of August with the canned and frozen fruits in your grocery store.
According to Alison Lewis, nutritionist and founder of Ingredients, Inc., canned fruits are comparable to fresh and frozen fruit when looking at nutritional values.
“Eating canned peaches can be healthy,” said Lewis, “Canned peaches sometimes retain more nutrients than fresh because they are picked fully ripe and then processed right away. Fresh fruit may be picked before they are ripe and may travel long distances and suffer improper storage conditions which means nutrients may be destroyed along the way.”
For the average 1/2-cup serving of canned peaches in 100% juice, the nutritional values are 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 0 grams of protein.
“Canned peaches are low in fat, sodium and in calories,” said Lewis. “Just make sure you purchase ones that are packed in their own juice and not heavy syrup.”
Sometimes, even the canned fruits that are marked “light” are packed in syrup. Check the front of the can to make sure you’re always purchasing fruits packed in 100% of their own juice or water.
Though fresh fruit always is preferred to canned fruit because of its wonderful taste, fresh peaches have only slightly higher protein and fiber content, as well as fewer carbohydrates, than their canned counterparts.
“Some canned fruits have also been peeled which reduces their fiber content,” said Lewis. “[Canned peaches] can have less vitamin C, because it is heat sensitive and can be destroyed in the canning process.”
Overall, peaches are a healthy choice, with strong levels of potassium, vitamin A and Beta Carotene, but to be safe, opt for a large fresh peach that has about 68 calories, 0 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.