There are thousands upon thousands of different varieties of apples that are grown across the world. There are small apples, big apples, cooking apples, pressing apples, sweet apples, and tart apples. But when you're in the store or at the market, the biggest concern you'll probably have is choosing between green apples versus red apples!
The color distinction is the most common way to categorize different types of apples, as more often than not, red and green apples (regardless of whether it's a Granny Smith or a Golden Delicious) have distinctive differences in taste and nutritional content.
In this article, we'll explain in more detail the differences (and similarities) between green apples vs red apples and see if one variety is healthier than the other!
The difference between green apples versus red apples
Red apples are the sweetest apples, and green apples are the tartest types of apples. You probably know that much from experience, but there are many more differences (and similarities) between red and green apples other than color and taste.
In practical terms, green apples like Granny Smith have a much denser texture and are able to withstand high heat. They are commonly used in cooking and baking. Red apples, with their sweeter taste, are more likely to be cut up with an apple slicer and eaten as a tasty snack on their own accord!
The nutritional differences between green vs red apples
- Given the sweeter taste, red apples are higher in sugars than green apples, although the difference is surprisingly marginal.
- Green apples also have a large amount of sugar in them; the sweetness is just masked by the tartness.
- This does mean that carbs in red apple varieties are a little higher than green apple carbs, too.
- Green apples also have more nutrients and vitamins than red apples, and so they could be seen as healthier in this respect.
- Green apples are high in Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
- Green apples also contain lots of potassium, lots of fiber, and lots of iron.
- Red apples also contain these nutrients and minerals but in smaller quantities.
- Green apples have almost double the quantity of Vitamin A that red apples do, so in the nutritional battle between green versus red apples, green apples come out on top!
- On the other hand, red apple benefits include high levels of important antioxidants that we need to protect our body's cells (and that even stop us from getting cancer). Antioxidants keep our skin looking fresh, too.
- Equally, though, green apples also contain antioxidants, just not in as high a quantity as red apples!
Red apple nutrition is fairly similar to green apple nutrition, so is one really healthier than the other? That depends on where you're coming from with the question.
If you're looking for more fiber, more iron, more potassium, and more vitamins, then the green apple is clearly superior.
If you need added glucose in your diet and are looking for an antioxidant boost, the red apple is for you.
Green apples vs red apples: is one better for weight loss?
While nutritional content is very similar, the green apple is slightly superior to the red when it comes down to calories, carbs, and sugar content.
- If you're looking for the lowest possible levels of sugars and carbs in your diet, then the green apple can help you with a weight loss diet. It can be a tasty, healthy snack that's packed full of vitamins.
- If you're not concerned about weight loss, then the red apple is also an excellent snack. Despite the marginally higher sugar levels, a red apple is still an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins. You know the saying - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Ultimately, we aren't going to stop you from enjoying red or green apples, as they are both excellent for your health, especially as part of a balanced and nutritional diet!
Which is best for cooking?
Given their different qualities, however, it's best to consider which type of apple is most suited to cooking or baking before jumping into a recipe with any old variety!
- Green apples are usually the favorite when it comes to cooking and baking, as they are tarter and add a more balanced flavor than sweet red apples (and you can always add extra sugar to the recipe to make up for the sweetness).
- Granny Smith, a type of green apple, is the go-to cooking apple for many. Granny Smith apples are large, bitter, and acidic, but they don't break down easily under high heat. They work well for savory dishes, as well as cakes and apple pies.
- However, if you're after a sweet cake or a super-sweet apple pie, then the natural sugars of a red apple can be preferable to additional sweeteners.
You can even combine red apples with green apples for a great mixture of sweetness and tartness when you're cooking up in the kitchen!
Green vs red apples: why do they have different colors?
Okay, so finally, we'll get to the burning question you've been wondering about. Why do apples have different colors?
Unfortunately, it's not that exciting an answer. The different colors stem from the fact that different varieties of apples contain different levels of pigmentation. Green apples have higher levels of chlorophyll, a green pigment responsible for photosynthesis.
Red apples simply have less green chlorophyll.
What's your favorite color apple?
Have you got a favorite type of apple? If you prefer a sweeter apple, then we expect you'll be a fan of the red apple. If you're looking for a tarter taste and less sugar, then the green apple is for you.
But is one actually healthier than the other? In certain ways, yes. If you're looking to lose a little weight and load up on much-needed vitamins, then the green apple is undoubtedly superior to the red. If this isn't your concern, though, then red apples offer a range of antioxidants andalmostas much nutritional value as green apples!
It's a close call, so we'll leave you to make that choice. Why not bookmark our guide, so you can decide which apple is best for you?