An apple a day is an old saying that has some health merit to it. In a recent study, post-menopausal women who ate 2 apples daily (in dried apple form) saw total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol drop! With more than $15.5 BILLION spent on statin drugs in a year, apples seem like an economical choice, too.
For the women who ate 2 apples/day, in 6 months, total cholesterol dropped 13%, from 250 to 218. The harmful LDL-cholesterol lowered 24% (!!) from 160 down to 132.
Why do apples seem to be fabulous for cholesterol reduction?
- In part, it’s the pectin fiber. Pears, oranges and grapefruit also have a good supply of cholesterol-lowering pectin fiber.
- Apples also have polyphenols, natural substances that reduce artery inflammation.
Apples, apples, apples….
- stir chopped apples into oatmeal, muffins, pancakes and bars;
- add sliced apples (with the peels) to tossed salads, fruit cups, stir frys;
- add apple chunks added to hearty soups, stews, casseroles; and if you are needing dessert, apple crisp with lots of oats on top!
In the U.S., 81million adults have cardiovascular disease, and over 800,000 die from this disease. Reducing cholesterol is one tool to lower risk. And a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts – all sources of dietary fiber – seem to be a health (and economical) way to get a handle on this disease.