Oct 09, 2014 8:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


If you’re looking to lose weight, add apples to your diet.

A new study in the journal Food Chemistry finds that nondigestible compounds in apples help to regulate gut flora and may prevent disorders associated with obesity.

But which type of apple is best? Washington State University researchers compared the nondigestible compounds in Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples. The Granny Smith variety contained the most nondigestible compounds. 

Nondigestible compounds aid in the growth of good bacteria in the colon. A proper balance of bacteria is essential for good metabolism and helps to reduce the risk of inflammation that leads to obesity-related diseases like diabetes.

“Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity,” writes food scientist Giuliana Noratto, PhD, in a statement about the study.

Registered dietitian Staci Nix McIntosh, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Utah’s College of Health, agrees that apples are beneficial as part of an overall healthy diet. Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins and minerals that benefit the body, and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help people control their weight.

But McIntosh notes that eating a Granny Smith a day is not enough to make an obese person lean. It’s a good first step. 

“If an obese individual with poor gut microflora replaces a snack of processed food products with an apple, there are many benefits that will result over time from that lifestyle and dietary change in habits,” she says. ”One of which would be a more balanced and healthy gut flora population. The healthy bacteria that we want in our guts are able to ferment certain nutrients, and release bioactive compounds, ultimately altering the gut’s metabolic and endocrine function.”

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