An apple a day keeps hunger at bay, especially on Red Apple Day. This convenient, affordable, nutritious staple is a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
One medium piece of this fruit (three inches in diameter) has about 95 calories and almost no fat or sodium. The flesh contains soluble fiber, which slows digestion, reduces cholesterol and helps you to feel full.
To get the most from your apple, remember to eat the skin. It contains insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation and is a great source of antioxidants called polyphenols. These polyphenols may help protect against certain kinds of cancer and cardiovascular disease, research suggests.
Pick the Right Apple
About 2,500 different varieties grow in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They’re all good raw but when it comes to cooking, not all apples are created equal. Pick these varieties, depending on the preparation:
- Gala and Fuji–applesauce;
- McIntosh and Golden Delicious–salads;
- Rome–baking and cooking; and
- Granny Smith–pie.
To get the taste, texture and aroma of apple pie–without extra calories, sugar or fat–make a crumble instead: Cube a Rome, Honeycrisp or Gala apple (keep the skin on), then coat the pieces with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for two to four minutes. Remove from the microwave, crumble a piece of cinnamon-flavored graham cracker on top and add a little low-fat whipped topping to enjoy.