Recent cholesterol research shows that eating just two apples a day can lower your cholesterol and protect you against heart disease and strokes. Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University believes that apples are definitely a “miracle fruit” that provide health benefits beyond fiber content.
“I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by about 4%.”
About the Apple Cholesterol Study
The year long research was done at Florida State University and included 160 post-menopausal women. This is important because, after menopause, women are at an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
In the study, half of the women ate 75 grams of dried apple daily, which is the equivalent of two medium sized fresh apples, while the other half were instructed to eat the same quantity of prunes. Blood tests measuring their cholesterol were taken every three months for a year.
25% Lower Cholesterol with Apples
As published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
After three months total cholesterol levels in the group that ate apples dropped by 9 percent and low-density lipoprotein, the “bad,” cholesterol, dropped by 16 percent. Levels were even lower after six months, with total cholesterol down 13 percent and low-density lipoprotein levels dropped by 24 percent, the study said.
Low density lipoprotein is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. It clogs your arteries and increased the risk of blood clotting near the heart or brain.
The group of women eating the prunes had lower cholesterol levels, too, but not to the same extent as the women eating the dried apples.
No Weight Gain!
Dr. Arjmandi was surprised by another benefit of eating apples that was revealed in this study. The extra 240 calories per day from eating the dried apples did not lead to weight gain. In fact, the women lost an average of 3.3 pounds!
“Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake” he said. Part of the reason for the weight loss could be the fruit’s pectin, which is known to have a satiety effect.
Other Benefits of Apples
Apples have other health benefits, too. A 2009 study revealed that eating two apples a day can slash in half the risk of bowel cancer in adults. Other studies have shown evidence that apples can:
- possibly prevent colitis
- inhibit breast cancer
- delay the onset of Alzheimers
- promote weight loss
Be sure to include two apples a day, no matter how old you are. They surely do keep the doctor away!