Shari Steinbach, MS RDN posted on February 28, 2017 |
Maintaining a healthy weight is a key factor for reducing the risk of most chronic diseases and for your overall well-being. How much you eat and the types of foods you consume are important for weight management and physical activity levels, of course, play a key role.
Over the years we have seen hundreds of fad diets and celebrity eating plans promise fast and permanent weight loss but rarely have they produced a lasting and healthy result. Besides, who wants to eat cabbage soup all day?
What does work is building an eating plan around a variety of nutrient-rich foods, consuming adequate fiber and managing calories through portion control. Apples are a perfect example of a food that fits into this lifestyle approach and there is research to back up why they should be in your weekly shopping cart along with other delicious, healthy and affordable food choices.
To build a healthy, weight-smart shopping cart follow these basic guidelines:
- Consume at least 5 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables a day
- Opt for whole grains
- Add in healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil
- Choose lean protein from meat, poultry, fish and beans
- Consume low fat dairy products
Why every healthy grocery list should include apples:
There are many healthy reasons for adding apples to your weekly shopping cart and incorporating them into your meals. Apples contain natural fiber and adequate fiber consumption has been consistently associated with weight loss.2 The fiber in apples provides a feeling of fullness and when you feel full you tend to eat less. Also, the soluble fiber pectin which is found in apples, slows the body’s release of glucose, preventing sudden drops in blood sugar that trigger hunger and can set off food cravings.
The new daily dietary value for fiber consumption is 28 grams. (This applies to adults and children over 4 years old). Unfortunately the average American consumes only 15 grams of fiber. With all of the positive health research linked to fiber it’s no wonder apples should hold a valued spot in your grocery cart. Eating just one apple a day, with the skin, will provide an average of 4.5 grams of fiber and a tennis ball-sized apple contains only about 80 calories!
Now that you know how and why to fill your cart with healthy choices that include apples, it’s time to build a delicious meal plan. Eating healthier does take a bit of planning but by spending an hour or so to create a weekly menu and shopping list you’ll save money and time in the long run. We’ll help you get started with our one week sample menu plan. The 1500 - 1600 approximate calorie level will help promote a slow and steady weight loss while keeping you satisfied with balanced meals.
Please consult your physician with any health-related concerns, including changing your diet or starting an exercise routine. Information found at michiganapples.com is not intended to, and should not be used to, diagnose or treat any disease, and should never substitute for or replace your doctor's advice or care.
- Rolls BJ, Ello-Martin JA, Tohill BC. What can intervention studies tell us about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and weight management? Nutr Reviews 2004;62:1-17.
- Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Energy density of foods affects energy intake across multiple levels of fat content in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:1010-1018.
- Lin BH, Morrison BM. Higher fruit consumption linked with lower body mass index. Food Review 2002;25(3):28-32