Nutrition and You!

Can an Apple a Day Keep Obesity at Bay?

apples.jpgItís apple picking season, and this fallís bounty may be good for your waistline.

A study of over 55 adults published in Appetite revealed that eating an apple prior to lunch helped reduce the calories at that meal by 15 percent or about 185 calories. This daily calorie reduction could parlay into a loss of about 1.5 pounds monthly or 20 pounds a year. The researchers of this study concluded that eating high fiber fruit at the start of a meal increases satiety or fullness, which can help you to consume fewer calories when you sit down to eat.

Additional research suggests that there may be other waist-trimming benefits in apples. In a study published in the journal, Food Chemistry, researcher Giuliana Noratto, PhD, has shown that compounds, called polyphenols, as well as fiber, in Granny Smith apples can change the proportion of gut bacteria (the bacteria in the GI tract) in obese mice to mimic that of lean mice. This in turn may help fight obesity.

According Noratto, the lead author of the study, ďour hypothesis suggests that a disproportionate amount of unhealthy gut bacteria found in obese individuals may play a role in triggering chronic low grade inflammation in the body. This in turn may cause metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels that lead to more fat being made and stored in the body. When restoring a bacteria balance that mimics the balance seen in lean individuals, the inflammation decreases and less fat is made and deposited in the body.Ē

The effect the bacteria in your gut have on your health is a hot research issue. Emerging studies suggest that there may be a relationship between the type of bacteria in the gut and the incidences of cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as obesity in individuals.

To help you slim down, consider these apple tips:

1. Add chopped apples to your morning yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal to keep you full throughout the morning.

2. Chomp on an apple 30 minutes prior to your lunch to help you eat less.

3. Pack an apple to munch on during the workday commute home. A pre-dinner apple could help curb your appetite so that you donít arrive home so ravenous that you are tempted to eat anything that isnít moving.

Enjoying apples this fall may end up being the sweetest diet trick of the season.

Be well, Joan

Twitter: @JoanSalgeBlake

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