An apple a day keeps metabolic syndrome away

April 9, 2008 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

An apple a day keeps metabolic syndrome away

Adults who eat apples, apple sauce or drink apple juice have a significantly reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is thought to double the risk of heart attack and increase the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes fivefold.

A person may have metabolic syndrome if he or she has a large waist size plus two or more of the following: high blood fat (triglycerides), high blood pressure, elevated fasting blood glucose and low "good" HDL cholesterol.

In this new study, researchers took data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) on food consumption and looked for an association between intake of apples and apple products, overall nutrient intake and various measures related to metabolic syndrome.

When compared to adults who didn't eat apples, apple eaters were found to have a 27 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Apple eaters were also less likely to have high blood pressure and were 21 percent less likely to have a large waist size - two risk factors for metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

Overall, apple eaters ate healthier diets than adults who didn't eat apples and had higher intakes of fruit and nutrients found in fruit, including fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.

Apple eaters were also found to eat less fat, saturated fat, and sugar. A diet that's low in fat and saturated fat is known to be good for heart health.  

Canada's Food Guide recommends 7 to 8 servings of vegetables and fruits for women and 8 to 10 servings for men. One fresh apple, one-half cup (125 ml) of apple juice, or one-half cup (125 ml) of applesauce counts as one Food Guide serving of vegetables and fruits.

A fresh apple with a tablespoon (15 ml) of almonds or a three-quarter cup (175 g) of low-fat yogurt  makes a quick and nutritious snack.

For more ideas on how to add apples to your diet, check out our October 2000 Featured Food.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.