Whether next to a sandwich, packed in a cake or as a practical snack, apples could be America’s national fruit. In addition to their convenience and status as an uncomplicated accompaniment to a packed lunch, these beautifully shaped fruits have also been associated with weight loss. Some studies have compared eating apples with other foods (even other fruits like pears) and found that the plump, red men are ahead of the pack when it comes to helping people lose pounds.
What is it about? Read on to find out why dieters believe that eating apples can help you lose weight. (And while we’re talking about apples, check out what happens to your body when you eat one every day!)
Weight loss can sometimes be more complicated than a simple calorie-in-calorie-out equation. However, there is no denying the importance of caloric intake when trying to reduce caloric intake.
Apples vary in their number of calories, from just 80 for a small Granny Smith to 125 for a larger honey. But don’t worry about choosing a low-calorie variety. All apples are excellent choices for weight loss and health in general – especially when replacing other higher calorie snacks. “By replacing low-calorie options with high-calorie alternatives, your net caloric intake will naturally decrease, resulting in weight loss,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Gunner, RDN.
Of course, an apple that you can snack on in two bites may not be as satisfying as a high-calorie snack. So when you’re hungry, combine apples with a protein or fat. “Adding an extra component like almond or peanut butter will make you feel fuller, so you can feel full longer while staying flavorful,” says Gunner.
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Fiber and weight loss go hand in hand, and at around 5 grams per fruit, apples are definitely a high fiber food. (For reference, this is 20% of the daily fiber goal for women and 13% for men.)
“Eating a high-fiber diet helps you lose weight in a number of ways,” says nutritionist Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD. “For starters, the fiber will fill up and help curb your appetite.” The more fiber you get from apples, the more you can boost your metabolism in a surprising way: your gut! “Dietary fiber promotes healthy intestinal bacteria, which can affect our body’s metabolism and the use of energy.”
Adequate hydration not only has a positive effect on your skin and keeps headaches at bay. Studies have shown that increasing fluid intake can make a significant contribution to weight and fat loss.
In addition to filling your water bottle regularly, you can keep your hydration hydrated through foods like apples! The crispy lunch box favorites contain approx. 86% water. “The high water content combined with lots of healthy fiber makes apples a wonderfully filling snack option!” says Gunner.
If you don’t need to monitor your blood sugar, you might not be thinking too much about the glycemic index (GI). However, if you are looking to lose weight, this can be a useful tool. This scale from 0 to 100 shows how much a food raises blood sugar within two hours of consumption. Apples are considered a low GI food with a score of 36.
So what is the relationship between this number and weight loss? “Eating foods with a lower glycemic index can help weight management because more stable blood sugar keeps hunger in check,” said Andrews. “Foods with a high glycemic index make our blood sugar rise faster, which means we secrete insulin to lower blood sugar. When blood sugar is low, we get hungry and want to eat again.” Between stabilizing your blood sugar and promoting weight loss, apples are a win-win situation.
RELATED: A Surprising Side Effect Of Eating Apples
Apples are especially rich in an antioxidant called quercetin, which can reduce inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation is all well and good in itself, but it might even pave the way for pound shedding.
“Inflammation is linked to obesity because it can affect insulin resistance – the way our bodies use insulin,” explains Andrews. “When we have insulin resistance, our bodies can make more insulin, which makes our bodies fat. Quercetin can alter inflammatory compounds in the body and therefore affect insulin resistance.” Pro Tip: Get the most out of apples’ antioxidants by eating them right.
Wrapping up a snack really isn’t that much easier than grabbing an apple as you head out the door. In addition to being a godsend on busy days, the convenience factor of the fruit can add to your weight loss efforts as well.
“Convenience is a key aspect of creating a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for you,” says Gunner. “If you are not comfortable with the healthy choices you make, you are less likely to stick to them over the long term.”
Gunner’s hack because he ate more apples? “One simple trick you can use in your daily life is to make healthy options like apples visible and quickly absorb them on the go. Putting fruit in a bowl and placing it on your countertop makes the food easy to see. Plus , a fruit bowl in the kitchen is also aesthetically pleasing! “
See Science If You Eat Too Many Apples For More Information.