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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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An Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree


This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my family and extended family in my upstate New York hometown (including my goddaughter, the apple of my eye). And no fall homecoming would be complete without a trip to the apple orchard (this photo is from an orchard near my parents’ home).

When I’m homesick, I dream of juicy, crisp apples (whereas my Texas born hubby gets homesick for salsa – go figure). I love them sweet and tart, or a little of both. I love them naked or sliced and dipped into peanut butter, baked with just the right amount of cinnamon and raisins, or simmered into chunky applesauce – yum, yum, yum!

And they’re not only mouth wateringly delicious, they’re the original health food. Surely you’ve heard the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and by golly, this one’s true (unlike the equally famous, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” or “You can never be too rich or too thin” – pleeeze!).

Several studies have tied eating apples (including the skins) to better lung function and a lower risk of respiratory diseases including asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema as well as a reduced risk of breast, lung, and colon cancer. And once again, those amazing phytochemicals (what I keep calling “body guards”) are credited (boy, they’re so busy they practically need personal assistants!).

And that’s not all - they’re heart healthy too! One medium apple (about the size of a baseball) provides 5 grams of dietary fiber, 20% of the recommended daily minimum. And the type of fiber that fills apples is similar to the kind in oatmeal, which helps lower cholesterol. I guess you could say they’re wholesome to the core (tee-hee).

When you’re shopping for apples, mix it up by buying an assortment of types and colors (variety gives you more nutrition bang for your bite), and choose locally grown if you can (did you know that every state in the U.S. grows apples?).

Ok, I’m off to make some baked apples (really), but before I go, I have apple trivia to share:
-The Unites States is only the third leading producer of apples (behind China and Argentina)
-7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world
-Apples float because 25% of their volume is air
-Apples are a member of the rose family
-The apple blossom is the state flower of both Michigan and Arkansas (that’s where I said, “I do” to my sweetie, awwwww)
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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