If you’re a food enthusiast, you must love fall. Pumpkin pie, spaghetti squash, sweet potato pie, apple pie, and other classics are all in season and on display at food festivals. Across the country, apple festivals and apple days are the talk of the town.
About Those Apples…
I love nothing more than picking an apple fresh off the tree and digging in. The sweet crispness just does it for me—not to mention the heart-healthy fiber, rich antioxidants, and cup of water that are packed in there too. But I know some of you get bored easily and like eating your apples as part of a cider, apple punch, or a tasty apple pie.
No matter how you consume your apples this season, it’s important to remember a couple of things. The first one is that just because apple pies, ciders, and punches start out as healthy, whole fruits, doesn’t mean they end up that way. Eating a big piece of apple pie isn’t the same thing as eating an apple, and although you’ll be getting the valuable nutrients that are part of the apple, you’ll be getting plenty of stuff that you don’t want as well. Apple pie fillings are often loaded with sugar that can do more harm than good, and calorie-dense pie crusts that can derail any diet. So, if you must splurge on a slice this season, make sure you stop at one!
Fixated on Fiber
One of the biggest health benefits of apples are their fiber content. One medium-sized red delicious apple has around 3g of fiber, or roughly 10% of your recommended daily intake. That same size apple clocks in at only about 100 calories, making it a calorically economical way to get fiber. Fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular, while also playing a major role in lowering the risk of high blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and limiting the risk of heart disease—it can even help protect against type-2 diabetes by slowing the absorption of sugar.
But guess what? That tasty apple cider or apple punch misses the mark when it comes to fiber. You see, fiber is found in the flesh of the apple, and to take advantage of it the apple must be consumed in whole form. When it’s consumed as a juice, you’re losing the fiber, and the sugar content in the apple will be absorbed almost the same as if it were a can of soda. That can lead to blood sugar spikes, high insulin levels, and potentially lead to metabolic syndrome or type-2 diabetes. As you can see, the way you consume food plays a major role on how it affects your body.
Enjoy the Season
Now I’m not trying to ruin apples for you, I’m just trying to make sure you get the most out of them. Enjoy processed apple products in moderation, but stick to the real thing most of the time. Now get outside to pick some apples or head to your local apple festival for a great time.
Yates, S., “Enjoy fun and food at annual apple day,” Bury Times web site, Oct 18 2016; http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/14807594.Enjoy_fun_and_food_at_annual_apple_day/