An Apple A Day


The Boston New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center addresses obesity through research that explains how fast food causes weight gain in adolescents, how reducing sugary beverages causes weight loss in adolescents, and how reducing sugary beverages at home can help teens avoid weight gain.

Low-carbohydrate diets tend to avoid fruits thinking they are high in sugar, but this Center has proven that no matter the quantity, sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to any adverse health effects. Instead, increased fruit consumption is tied to lower body weight and a lower risk of obesity-associated diseases.

Eating the rainbow of whole fruits, we obtain a bounty of antioxidants, healthful nutrients, and fiber to provide us many metabolic benefits and make us feel full. It takes time for the digestive tract to break down intact fiber in the cell walls of fruit. The sugars enter the bloodstream slowly giving the liver a longer time to metabolize them. Four apples may contain the same amount of sugar as 24 ounces of soda, but the slow rate of absorption minimizes any surge in blood sugar.

Fiber promotes satiety, the slow release of sugar, and changes our intestinal flora by helping different species of healthy bacteria thrive. Processed foods usually digest in the first few feet of our intestines but fiber-rich fruit breaks down slowly, traveling throughout the digestive tract, triggering the satiety hormones clustered further down the small intestines.

Choose whole fruit over juice or dried fruit. If you opt for juice, tossing whole fruit in a blender rather than squeezing it for the best chance of retaining most of the fiber, vitamins and minerals. Dried fruit concentrates the calories and sugar into smaller packets, making it easier to consume excess calories. Dried fruit is a step above juice because it preserves the fruit’s cellular structure, along with the health assets that provides and since dried fruit travels easily, it’s better than sugary processed foods and drinks.

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