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Apples: The core of healthy eating

October 10, 2012
By Katie Wilhelmi , Marshall Independent

Get to the core of healthy eating by taking a fresh look at apples. Your local produce department stocks an extensive variety of apples and with new U.S. crops arriving in stores, autumn is a great time to appreciate this much-loved fruit.

A bushel of health benefits

The role of apples in good health has long been documented. This nutrient-rich fruit is packed with 4-5 grams of fiber that plays a role in a healthy blood cholesterol levels. Crunching an apple satisfies our urge to eat. With just 80 calories in a small- to medium-sized apple, apples are a snack that can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Peel appeal

Wash your fruit and be sure to eat the peel. The red, green or yellow pigments in the peel of an apple contain health-protective flavonoids (antioxidant compounds) that may reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as breast, prostate and lung.

Healthy snack attack

Snacking on apples contributes good-for-you nutrients to your diet as opposed to typical snack foods with lower nutrient values. Next time you're in the store, compare the NuVal score of apples at 96 to the NuVal score of other common snack foods you might choose and you'll be convinced apples are an ideal snack attack. Get creative or try one of the following seasonal snack recipes:

Apple Snackwich

Serves 4.

Making an apple sandwich out of sliced apples is a kid-friendly after-school snack.

All you need:

2 apples, variety of your choice

4 tbsp. creamy peanut butter, divided

4 tsp. Bear Naked Fit Granola

4 tsp .mini chocolate chips

4 tsp. raisins

All you do:

1. Wash and core apples.

2. Slice top and bottom off apples; discard. Slice each apple crosswise into four slices.

3. Spread 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter on each apple slice, then top each slice with 1/2 teaspoon a sprinkling of granola, mini chocolate chips and raisins.

4. Sandwich two slices to make snackwich.

Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 9g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 75mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 14g sugar, 5g protein

Source: Hy-Vee dietitians

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the Marshall Hy-Vee Food Store.



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