It's apple-picking season and time for all things apple! They're delicious, nutritious, and convenient to eat. They remind me of fall festivals, apple bobbing, and the fact that I recommend an apple a day to everyone I meet. I slice them on my panini sandwiches, dice them into salads or stir-fry dishes, and even cut them into my quinoa pilaf or famous Salmon Salad!
A question I received recently was, “Between green or red apples, which is the healthier apple?” My answer: “The one that you will eat!” Both are rich in antioxidants, pectin, quercetin, and flavonoids to protect body cells from oxidative stress and damage. They are particularly good for heart, bowel, and liver health. They make an easy-to-carry, tasty snack, and paired with a healthy fat or protein, will not be so quick to raise your blood sugar levels and leave you very hungry in an hour or so.
As for which variety is "healthier", each has its own nutritional benefits. One medium apple is 104 calories and 27 good carbs! Sorry Keto friends, but no one ever got fat eating fruits! However, green apples may contain slightly more fiber and less carbohydrates and sugar than red apples. So, for those being extra careful with their carb and sugar intake, green apples come out on top, but the difference isn't huge.
If antioxidants are your focus, then red apples win over green. But again, the difference is small. Red apples contain higher amounts of anthocyanins which are found in the red skin and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Both red and green apples are full of vitamin C, high in fiber that is good for gut health, and a soluble fiber called pectin, which is good for heart health as it helps to lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
This is truer if the apple is organic, and not pesticide/herbicide-laden and grown from trees that are in soil devoid of nutrients they need to grow strong fruit. Some researchers say that it would take 26 of the conventionally grown apples on these farms — that you would find in most grocery stores — to come close to the nutrition found in the apples of the 1960’s and 70’s before many of the approvals of chemical use and other genetic engineering.
However, you can still diminish the health factor of apples by cooking them, adding sugar, and turning it into apple sauce. Or, you can damage the healthy nutritious factor altogether by turning the apples into apple pie! Now, I am not against apple pie; in fact, my husband, Jack, makes the most amazing apple pie from scratch, and I have one every year. In our house, these treats are known as a “special occasion food.” And as long as you don’t have a “special occasion” every day and are mindful of the consequences of excessive consumption of said food, you will be fine.
Some stats on apple pie
A single 1/8 piece of a pie with a 9-inch diameter or 1/6 of an 8-inch diameter piece of pie will contain between 277 and 296 calories respectively depending on the height of the pie. A total of 57% of the calories come from carbohydrates, 42% from fat, and a meager 3% from protein. You’ll also consume 18 to 20g of sugar in a single piece! And if you for each half cup scoop of ice cream that you pile on, you will add 137 calories, 7.3g of fat mostly saturated fat, 16g of carbohydrates, and 4g of sugar with a meager 2.3g of protein.
Eating excessive amounts of calories over the holidays is not a good idea for any of us as those excessive calories can lead to obesity and chronic diseases. But remember, it’s not what you eat from Thanksgiving to New Years that creates our health or weight problems, it’s what we eat from New Years to Thanksgiving! So don’t wait until January to “start” to make changes...make them now! You may want to review your Wellness Vision in the My Wellview portal to see if it still fits or needs adjustments/additions.
Here are a few of my Healthy Holiday Pro Tips:
Goal: I will come through the Holidays at the exact same weight I am now.
- Action Step #1: I will add an apple to my daily nutrition choices.
- Action Step #2: I will stay active daily throughout the Holidays.
- Action Step #3: I will keep my appointments with my Wellview Advisor, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Mental Health providers on my Care Team throughout the holidays to stay motivated to maintain my health and wellness goals.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your “special occasion” food and eat mindfully in full control of your choices to help maintain your healthy waistline and future longevity plans. We’re here to help!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC
Health Advisor | Email Stephanie