Here’s a heart-healthy reason to prescribe yourself an apple a day: Women who ate dried apples every day for a year lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 23 percent, according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and presented this week at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C.
Researchers split 160 women between 45 and 65 into two groups: one consumed roughly 2.5 ounces of dried apples daily and the other group ate dried prunes. Women who ate the apples not only saw a 14 percent to 23 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol, they lowered cell-damaging lipid hydroperoxide by 33 percent and C-reactive protein by 32 percent, increased good cholesterol by 4 percent, and lost on average 3.3 pounds.
Bottom line: While more research is warranted, you really don’t need a reason to eat more apples—they’re good for you and they’re delicious—plain and simple. But if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease, an apple a day might help. And don’t stop at apples—eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, with a variety of colors, can protect your heart by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels, limiting inflammation of the arteries, warding off diabetes, and, of course, helping you lose weight.
Be sure to wash apples and other produce, and choose organic varieties if you can.
Daily apple consumption promotes cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women [The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology]
Experimental Biology 2011