Per a 2008 survey published in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, half of the dietitians surveyed believed that fresh-cut produce didn’t differ in taste from whole produce. This sample population might be niche, but a 50-50 split indicates that I’m certainly not alone with my preference. According to Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York City, there are a few simple reasons why some of us gravitate towards fruit that’s sliced or diced.
4 reasons why you might prefer sliced fruit over whole fruit
1. It can enhance the sensory experience of eating
“Slicing fruit allows you to taste the juiciness and flavors of those fruits that come with a thick outer skin—both edible and non-edible,” Shapiro begins. A sense of reward can kick in more quickly due to the bigger and more direct exposure to the juiciness of a given fruit.
One survey published in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that when it comes to apples in particular, the three biggest factors that reign supreme in selecting them are (anticipated) taste, aroma, and freshness. Once you buy, cut, and eat them, you may get a more immediate take of its sensory attributes and ripeness alike.
2. It can be more satisfying
Shapiro notes that when you cut fruit, you increase its total surface area. “It will take more time to eat and the snack looks larger,” she says. Both of these elements can enhance satiety and make it feel like you’re getting more bite for your buck. Plus, slicing up certain fruits like apples and pears can potentially make for a lengthier, crunchier, and noisier—and thus more satisfying—snacking experience.
3. It can be more versatile than whole fruit
Cutting up fruit can also make it easier to get creative with your produce intake. “It allows you to mix fruit together, like in a fruit salad,” says Shapiro. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life: The mixture of different types of cut fruit with others—including some that may still be whole (think: blueberries and raspberries)—may bring greater gustatory delight via different tastes and textures.
Plus, fruit slices can make for a more enjoyable snacking experience overall since you can easily make a range of culinary creations with them. “You can dip it into something yummy like peanut butter or yogurt,” says Shapiro. Or if you’re feeling a bit decadent, the likes of sliced peaches and cream is an incredibly worthy option.
4. It can evoke more joy
Eating sliced fruit can, at least in a minor way, elicit the joy of eating like a kid again. “You can eat it with your fingers if you choose, [which makes it] more fun for your hands and your mouth,” Shapiro notes.
“You can eat it with your fingers if you choose, [which makes it] more fun for your hands and your mouth,” Shapiro notes.
To slice or not to slice will ultimately come down to your personal preference for taste, as well as other factors such as convenience. Perhaps it’s favorable at certain times to grab and go with whole fruit, or superior to create a balanced and filling snack using cut fruit as one of several ingredients. No matter which way you slice it (or don’t slice it), having fresh fruit nearby—and consuming it before it goes bad—is helpful to load up on good-for-you nutrients. “Having fruit prepared, washed, and within eyesight will help you to consume more of it, especially if it is in season,” says Shapiro.
Speaking of nutritional considerations, she reminds us of the importance of enjoying fruit with the peels on. “The nutrition in cut fruit can decrease if you do not eat the edible skin with fiber, vitamins, and minerals,” she explains. Plus, as Megan Rossi PhD, RD, previously told Well+Good, antioxidant levels in fruit can be up to 328 times higher in peels than in its peels than in its flesh. Apples are a standout in this regard, too: “An apple with skin contains up to 332 percent more vitamin K, 142 percent more vitamin A, and 115 percent more vitamin C than its peeled counterpart,” she shared.
Lastly, if you do decide to slice up your fruit, Shapiro says it’s usually best to consume it sooner than later. “Depending on how long the fruit is cut, the amount of vitamin C will decrease as it is carried in water and leach out,” she cautions.