Are Apples Really That Good For You, And What's The Healthiest Type?

Julie Kendrick
·2-min read

The fruit selection at your local grocery store is most likely limited to just one kind of banana (Cavendish, by the way), a few varieties of grapes and a couple of choices for oranges. But check out the apple section and you’ll find an orchard’s worth of options.

Should you choose red or green? Soft or crunchy? heirloom or something you’ve never heard of? Organic, conventional or GMO apples that resist browning?

Here’s one reason you have so many choices: There are 7,500 apple varieties grown in the world, with 2,500 grown in the United States, according to Tracy Grondine, vice president of communications for the U.S. Apple Association, an industry group.

We’ve all heard that apples are good for us ― an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? But maybe it’s time for a fact-check. Is the fruit sugar in apples bad for us? Is one variety healthier than another? And – once and for all – what happens when you actually do compare apples and oranges?

“Sugars from fruits aren’t bad for us,” pediatrician Allan Kornberg said. “Eat a whole apple and you’ll experience positive metabolic effects. Just avoid apple juice, which will contribute to a spike in insulin.”  (artisteer via Getty Images)
“Sugars from fruits aren’t bad for us,” pediatrician Allan Kornberg said. “Eat a whole apple and you’ll experience positive metabolic effects. Just avoid apple juice, which will contribute to a spike in insulin.” (artisteer via Getty Images)

Are apples really that good for you?

Absolutely, positively, apples are a good food choice. “Many of the compounds in apples have an anti-inflammatory effect,” Allan Kornberg, a pediatrician and medical director of the U.S. office of the Physicians Association for Nutrition, told HuffPost. “I live in the Boston area, and as we say here, ‘that’s wicked important.’ Consuming those compounds has a proven and positive effect on long-term health, because they help reduce inflammation. And a majority of diseases in the Western world — heart disease, cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes — are related to poor diet, and to some extent are diseases of inflammation. Whole food, plant-based centric diets, including foods like apples, are protective.

“Even in the short-term, studies show that the kind of compounds found in apples can have a quick and positive effect on circulation, causing blood pressure to lower within as short as half an hour after consuming them,” Kornberg...Continue reading on HuffPost