Can you lose weight by eating only apples?
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but can eating apples also help you lose weight?
Apples are deliciously crunchy and sweet and thought to be a healthy fruit. They’re packed with essential nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to one’s health.
Apples are also low-calorie, low-carb healthy snacks that require no prep.
Not to mention they are rich in fiber and antioxidants, all that support a healthy, balanced diet.
But something many people want to know is whether they are helpful for weight management.
In this article, we’ll take a look at whether or not eating apples alone causes weight loss.
Apples Are Very Nutritious
Apples are very nutritious and contain a lot of good-for-you minerals and vitamins.
Namely, they are rich in fiber and vitamin C (1).
In a typical healthy diet that’s based on a 2,000 calorie diet, 2 cups of fruit are recommended daily.
With medium-sized apples, that equals to 1 1/4 apples a day.
Taking the recommended intake of apples provides ample nutritional benefits.
Here is the nutritional profile of one medium apple, about 3 inches in diameter.
1 medium apple offers the following nutrients (2):
- Calories: 95
- Carbs: 25 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
Additionally, the same apple serving is packed with up to 4% of the RDI for copper, manganese, and vitamins A, E, and B.
Apples are also loaded with polyphenols. These compounds don’t get listed on the nutritional labels, they bring their own set of benefits. Foods high in polyphenols are often linked to better digestion, brain health, and more.
To get the maximum benefits of apple nutrition, leave the skin on. It contains much of the fruit’s fiber and polyphenols.
Wash the fruits thoroughly before you eat, but don’t hesitate to bite into it with skin on.
Vitamins and Minerals
Apples have slews of vitamins and minerals. Though what you find most in apples is vitamin C and potassium.
In one medium apple, you find 14% RDI of vitamin C and 6% of potassium (3).
Vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid is a common antioxidant. It’s a nutrient that boosts the immune system, skin and eye health and prevents cancers. It’s also called “cure” for the common cold (4).
Potassium is a mineral found in apples. Adequate potassium intake is essential for your heart and kidney. It also works as a relief from high blood pressure and stroke.
High Water Content Promotes Appetite Reduction
One good thing about apples is that they contain a ton of water compared to their carb count. For this reason alone, they are low on the glycemic index. In other words, they are great for blood sugar control.
Having a high water content also means that they make a particularly filling snack. Foods that promote fullness are helpful to reduce cravings and control hunger.
In one study, participants were given snacks with similar calories—cookies or apples. Though the caloric amount was equal, people were more apt to lose weight eating apples (5).
Likewise, eating an actual apple vs. consuming the same amount of calories via juice is better. Reason being? Apples take longer to eat!
Fiber Is Your Weight-Loss Friend
Compared with their low-calorie density, apples contain a ton of fiber! 4 grams in an apple that’s medium-sized, to be exact.
A decrease in body weight—even the risk for obesity—has been tied to diets with high fiber content.
Fiber helps to keep you full by slowing your digestion. And the longer you feel full, the less likely you are to reach for more food. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating high-fiber foods should help you eat fewer calories.
Another interesting thing about fiber-rich foods is how your gut reacts to them. Research has shown that fiber benefits the good bacteria living in your intestines. Improved digestion is something that most people would love to achieve!
Another study compared weight loss for people eating apples, pears, and cookies. Those that ate the apples lost the most—2 pounds at the end of 10 weeks! Additionally, the apple group participants ate 25 fewer calories per day. By comparison, the cookie group ended up eating more calories, overall (6).
Healthy Impact Beyond Weight loss
Besides being a weight-loss-friendly food, here are some other benefits of eating apples:
Diabetes Prevention — This is mainly because of their high nutrient density and low glycemic index level. Packed with helpful vitamins (especially in the peels), apples regulate blood sugar. Combined with their weight management abilities, that’s a great reason to add them to a balanced diet.
Healthy Hearts & Brains — Apples are also full of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to keep inflammation and cholesterol levels in check. In turn, your risk of heart disease decreases dramatically. Similarly, studies have linked eating apples with a slowed mental decline. Eating apples has been shown to fight free radicals and boost neurotransmitter function (7).
Fight Cancer — Antioxidants in apples may also prevent cancer. Research into lung cancer specifically cites apples as being cancer-fighters. Colon, breast, ovarian, mouth, and throat cancer risk may also be reduced by eating one apple per day (8,9).
So, there you have it. Eating apples is hands down a smart nutritional move. Apples ward off disease, fight hunger cravings, and increase your water and fiber intake!
And the question on most people’s minds: do apples help with weight loss? A resounding “yes!”
Apples contain several nutrients that increase feelings of fullness and reduce your appetite. All of which decrease your total calorie intake and may aid weight loss.