LANSING — Michigan Apples can help keep your heart healthy, along with a balanced diet that includes many fruits and vegetables. The Michigan Apple Committee works with expert Shari Steinbach, M.S., R.D. to communicate the health benefits of regular apple consumption.
February is American Heart Month, so now is a great time to tout the importance of consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Apples are naturally fat-free and provide an excellent source of fiber – both soluble and insoluble types. In a 2012 study conducted by Ohio State University, the daily consumption of apples was associated with reduced level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol. Their research showed that middle-aged adults who consumed one apple a day for four weeks lowered their levels of LDL cholesterol by 40 percent. Other studies found that eating apples daily appeared to lower levels of cholesterol and two other indicators associated with plaques and inflammation in artery walls. Additional health studies and information can be found at www.MichiganApples.com/Healthy-Living.
“Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut and encourages the body to use, rather than store this waxy substance. In addition, apple peels are packed with polyphenols. These antioxidants can prevent cellular damage from harmful molecules called free radicals,” said Steinbach. “As far as how much to eat, just follow the apple-a-day saying, and if you eat two-a-day it might be even better!”
In 2018, Steinbach helped the Michigan Apple Committee create a kit as a resource for retail dietitians to help them communicate the many dietary benefits of Michigan Apples. Steinbach tapped in to her extensive experience as a former retail dietitian for Meijer and Spartan Stores to compile resources she knew Retailer RDs would need and use. Everything from recipes, meal plans, social media posts and scripts for media outreach are included in the kit. New sections will be added to the kit in 2020. To request a hard copy or electronic copy, email Staff@MichiganApples.com.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.
— Michigan Apple Committee
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