How Can Apples Help People With Diabetes?

A Great Way to Boost Your Health and Potentially Lower Your Blood Sugars

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Numerous studies have shown that high intakes of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as improve blood glucose control and lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Many people incorrectly believe that if they have diabetes, they cannot eat fruit. In fact, you can incorporate fruit into your meal plan.

As fall approaches, why not eat more apples? Local and seasonal produce is typically cheaper and because it requires less travel time it reduces the carbon footprint, not to mention increases freshness.

What is the Nutritional Content of an Apple

Aim to avoid the colossal sized apples, you know the ones that look like they couldn't have been produced naturally. Those can contain as many carbohydrates as two servings of fruit, not to mention have probably been farmed using genetically modified ingredients. Instead, opt for a small apple, the size of a tennis ball. Incorporate the apple into your meal carbohydrates or eat it as a snack with some protein - 1 tablespoon of almond butter, a handful of cashews, 1 low-fat cheese stick.

A small (4oz apple) contains: ~60 calories, 0g fat, 15g of carbohydrate, 3-4g fiber, 11g sugar, .3g protein

Apples Contain Quercetin: Quercetin is a type of phytochemical known as a flavonoid.

It is found in the apple skin. Animal research and research using cell cultures have found the quercetin may help to protect against certain cancers and help to kill cancer cells. Notably, these types of studies can suggest possible helpful effects, but they do not provide proof that such effects can be achieved in humans.

Preliminary studies also suggest that quercetin may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Apples Contain Soluble Fiber

Research has shown that foods rich in soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol, a waxy fat-like substance, is a primary component and a building material for compounds in the body such as bile acids, steroid hormones, and vitamin D. But, too much bad cholesterol (LDL) can clog arteries, resulting in plaque build up. A diet rich in soluble fiber can help to pull cholesterol out of the body. Aim to get in at least 25-38g daily.

Apples Can Take on Many Roles

Apples are a very versatile food. They can be eaten at any time of day and incorporated into all meal types. Chop apples and toss them into oatmeal with cinnamon, or top whole grain pancakes with yogurt and apple slices. Toss some apples into your salad for lunch or incorporate apples into your side dishes to accompany proteins like baked chicken, turkey or pork.

What About Apple Cider Vinegar?

The juice from apples is used to make apple cider vinegar. A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that healthy individuals at risk for Type 2 diabetes who ingested 8oz of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Sweet Stevia for 12 weeks led to significant reduction in fasting blood sugar than the control group.

However, there was no significant difference in blood sugars two hours after a meal, nor hemoglobin A1C. While this may not prove that apple cider vinegar is a miracle worker for blood sugar control (unfortunately no one signal food is), there is no harm in adding apple cider vinegar to your diet. In fact, the authors suggest that adding just one tablespoon twice daily may help to reduce fasting blood sugars. Toss some apple cider vinegar into your next salad or marinate your protein in it—a little goes a long way.

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