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Fall in Love with Apples Again

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

“Surely the Apple is the noblest of fruits” said Henry Thoreau.

For sure, apples are one of the basic foods, and all basic foods have nutritional benefits. But in this age of super-fruits, people want to know, what up with an apple?

Apple Nutrition

Question: “Is one apple healthier than another?
Answer: No

Apple nutrition is just a matter of size. A larger apple simply has more nutrients. Apples can be as small as a cherry or as big as a grapefruit. One medium apple is 3-inches measured across the middle.


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Healthy Fall Produce Recipes for Crisp Days

Summer is fun – especially going to the beach and other water events – but fall is my favorite season. Wearing jeans, watching football, and the crisp fall weather all comes together to create a delightful time.

One of the stand out features of the fall is the availability of fall produce – the cooler days make it perfect to turn on your oven and slow roast the heavier squashes and comfort soups for which the season begs. Try some of these terrific, tasty fall dishes that won’t break the calorie bank but will satiate your taste buds and warm you from the inside out.

Puree butternut squash in small batches in your blender to make this Butternut Squash Soup recipe from Elana’s Pantry. Top each bowl with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to lend depth of flavor.


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Healthy, No-Spoil Salads for Potlucks and Picnics

When you think of picnic salads, you probably think of fattening classics like coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni salad. Not only are these traditional salads laden with saturated fat and empty calories, they’re usually bound with mayonnaise, which makes them susceptible to spoilage.

Instead of looking to the usual suspects next time you’re asked to bring a dish to a potluck picnic, opt for something mayo-free that will keep well at room temperature and help you stick to a healthy diet.

Instead of coleslaw…

Apple Slaw: Full of fresh, crunchy apples and mixed with low-fat yogurt, this slaw has less than a hundred calories per serving and is a great alternative to a fuller-fat version.


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Apples May Add Years to Your Life

Wow, we’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research may make that claim seem quaint in comparison. If the findings in a new animal study proves to be true for humans as well, an antioxidant found in apples could extend your life by as much as 10 percent.

The current findings involved fruit flies – don’t laugh, they are used in hundreds of studies every year – and they help bolster similar findings when used with other test animals.

The fight to extend our life starts with the “bad guys” known as free radicals, which cause negative changes in our body related to the aging process and some diseases. The good news is that antioxidants help combat the effects of free radicals. Fruits and vegetables, particularly colorful foods like apples, tomatoes, broccoli, and blueberries are superb sources of antioxidants.
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Use Low-Fat Bacon for a Healthier Heart

Did you ever think that you could eat bacon and still take good care of your heart? Well, not all bacon is synonymous with the artery-clogging saturated fat that so many of us avoid in our regular diets. Bacon is a well-enjoyed protein that, in moderation, can be part of a balanced diet.

If you enjoy the taste of bacon but are watching your fat intake, don’t eat it morning, noon and night. Incorporate lower-fat center cut bacon (look for a brand such as Oscar Meyer that touts 30% less fat than the leading bacon) into your favorite healthy recipes, such as this hearty skillet dish with robust flavors and seasonal vegetables.

The best part? A little bit goes a long way – and you won’t even miss the extra calories.


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