An Apple a Day

We were all raised with the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and now there are some health and diet experts that are telling us to stop eating fruit. Let’s try to figure this out.

Where does this saying come from?

The original saying comes from the 1800’s and it was originally ‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” It wasn’t until 1922 that it evolved into the saying we still say today.

What does this saying mean?

The popularity of the phrase has not been lost on modern science. Researchers and doctors have conducted numerous studies on the health benefits of apples — exploring whether they can actually reduce trips to the doctor. As it was intended, it is telling you to eat an apple a day and it will keep you healthy. Apples are good for you.

Similar to other fruits, apples do benefit your health in many ways. First of all, an apple contains zero cholesterol, fat and sodium, and it is not harmful to your health in any way. It has a low calorie count of 80, and it is the perfect choice of food for you if you are trying to lose weight. Also, it provides 22 grams of carbohydrates, which make up 7% of recommended daily value, and some of these carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates that can give you a sustained energy boost. It is a good source of dietary fiber as well. An apple also has many great nutrients that perform various tasks to keep your body healthy, and these include vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

In 2012, an Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day helped significantly lower levels of bad cholesterol in middle ­aged adults, and in 2011 a Dutch study found that eating apples and pears might help prevent strokes.

So, if apples are so good for you, why are we told not to eat them?

Here is one opinion: “The sugar contained in fruit hurts anyone's chances of losing weight, says Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat. “If it's the carbs that make you fat, then fruit's a problem,” he says, noting that two ­thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese. “That means that for two ­thirds of your population you're probably making the problem worse or at least stopping it from getting cured if you advocate fruit.” Not only are fruit carbs, but also the fructose they contain causes insulin levels to spike, and the body doesn't burn its own fat while insulin levels are elevated, Mr. Taubes says.”

This expert would be right except that in multiple studies we have learned that only 10% of Americans eat enough fruit and vegetables in a day. Sad, because they put veggies and fruit together and we still don’t eat enough. YIKES!

All fruits aren't the same, at least when it comes to how much sugar they pack. Anyone with diabetes or who is obese, or who wants to lose weight, needs to pay attention to the amount of sugar consumed, including fructose ­ the sugar found in fruit. If you want fruit that's low in sugar, put down that banana and pick up those raspberries.

So, as with so many other extremes out there, use your common sense. If you choose to eat an apple, and you should, don’t eat a whole bowl of them. Eating them in pie, sorry, it doesn’t count as a serving of fruit. But, get your servings of fruit and vegetables in each and every day. That is truly the easiest way to avoid the doctor.

 

Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit. – James Allen

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