Tag Archives: apples

Eating whole fruits every day may keep diabetes away

FoodFacts.com has always thought highly of the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It works well with our mission of educating consumers about the benefits of healthy eating. There are foods that help our bodies remain strong and healthy, enabling us to avoid conditions that unhealthy foods may, in fact, contribute to. So we always enjoy reading new information that relates the consumption of fresh, whole foods to lowered risk of specific diseases.

Today we read that eating more whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The study is the first to look at the effects of individual fruits on diabetes risk.

“While fruits are recommended as a measure for diabetes prevention, previous studies have found mixed results for total fruit consumption. Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lowering diabetes risk,” said senior author Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH and assistant professor at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The researchers examined data gathered between 1984 and 2008 from 187,382 participants in three long-running studies (Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study). Participants who reported a diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at enrollment were excluded. Results showed that 12,198 participants (6.5%) developed diabetes during the study period.

The researchers looked at overall fruit consumption, as well as consumption of individual fruits: grapes or raisins; peaches, plums, or apricots; prunes; bananas; cantaloupe; apples or pears; oranges; grapefruit; strawberries; and blueberries. They also looked at consumption of apple, orange, grapefruit, and “other” fruit juices.

People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23% in comparison to those who ate less than one serving per month. Conversely, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%. The researchers found that swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7% reduction in diabetes risk.

The researchers theorize that the beneficial effects of certain individual fruits could be the result of a particular component. Previous studies have linked anthocyanins found in berries and grapes to lowered heart attack risk, for example. But more research is necessary to determine which components in the more beneficial fruits influence diabetes risk.

FoodFacts.com understands that Type 2 diabetes is a condition affecting millions worldwide. It can result in serious health problems, and even death for many in our population. The concept that eating blueberries, grapes and apples could markedly reduce the risk of diabetes is yet another reason for us all to add these whole fruits to our daily diets. And spreading the word about this possibility will help increase the nutritional awareness of those in our networks, and, hopefully in turn, those in theirs.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829214603.htm

One bad apple might spoil the whole bunch

And we have until September to try to stop it. FoodFacts.com wants to encourage our community of concerned food consumers to take action against genetically modified apples. You can do so by reading this blog post and following the Federal Register link you’ll find below to submit your comment on this issue. First, though, here’s the scoop on “arctic apples”.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits has developed a new genetically engineered apple that resists browning. When you slice a natural apple, it turns brown fairly quickly. A solution to this has always been that if you’re including apple slices in your children’s lunch boxes, or arranging them on a fruit plate, is to brush them with a little lemon juice. This slows down the browning process and you really can’t detect that bit of lemon flavor. It’s always worked. So why does this company think that consumers actually need a non-browning apple?

It appears that U.S. consumption of apples is down considerably since the 1980’s and Okanagan Specialty Fruits really believes they’ve solved the problem. By making sliced apples look better to serve or sell, people will buy more of them. It appears that consumers are more likely to purchase apple slices than they are whole apples. These slices are marketed as healthy, ready-to-eat snacks and have been made popular by fast food chains who now offer them as menu items. These slices don’t brown or bruise because they are often coated with vitamin C and calcium that prevent it and also help them stay crisp. Unfortunately that can alter the taste. Additionally, supermarkets can reject whole apples because of minor bruising which is common when the fruit is handled. So it’s assumed that the development of a non-browning, non-bruising apple would help industry sales.

The browning and bruising is a perfectly natural phenomenon and doesn’t make the apple rotten, just unattractive. It’s caused by the apple’s production of polyphenol oxidase. The genetic engineering of this new apple (the arctic apple), is accomplished by inserting a DNA sequence from four of the apple’s own genes that govern the production of polyphenol oxidase. And, voila, no browning.

The important point about the arctic apple is that it is not welcome by the U.S. Apple Association,  the group that represents the apple industry. They are pretty convinced that it’s not in the industry’s own best interest to market a natural fruit that’s been modified genetically. For generations, the apple has carried an image of good health with it and they are concerned that the new GMO version could change the apple’s reputation and adversely affect consumer opinion. And their concerns extend to consumer opinion abroad, as well – about 28% of apples in the U.S. are exported.

Okanagan has applied for regulatory approval of arctic apples with the U.S. Agriculture Department and the application is open for public comment through September 11th, 2012. Click through here and add your comment to those already submitted by over 800 concerned consumers and farmers: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/07/13/2012-17144/okanagan-specialty-fruits-inc-availability-of-petition-for-determination-of-nonregulated-status-of

Learn more detailed information about arctic apples here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/business/growers-fret-over-a-new-apple-that-wont-turn-brown.html?pagewanted=all

FoodFacts.com would also appreciate our community members sharing this blog post within your own networks. Let’s get the word out and educate others about what may soon be coming to a grocery store near you!

What’s really in Snapple Apple!

snapple-apple

Foodfacts.com looks into what’s really in Snapple “Apple.” Many consumers and bloggers recently took notice that “Snapple Apple” contains zero apples! Instead, this “apple” drink contains pear concentrate. Isn’t this false advertising? The Consumerist recently reached out to Snapple in regards to this matter to receive the following e-mail back:

snapple-logo1

“Thank you for contacting our Company regarding our ingredients in our products.

Our Company complies with all applicable labeling regulations promulgated in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies. Product flavor components that form part of our “natural” or “natural and/or artificial flavors” ingredients are considered proprietary to our Company.
If you have a concern regarding the intake of this product, we suggest that you contact your health care provider. If you have known sensitivities to any substance listed in the ingredient statement, we advise discontinuing use of the product.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Sincerely,
Consumer Relations”

So why doesn’t Snapple Apple use actual apple juice in their “apple” drink? The Consumerist points out that a real apple apparently doesn’t provide the same “apple” taste some people expect. However, pears are somehow able to provide the “true apple flavor.”

Apples score very high at Food Facts! They provide plenty of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and lutein, (an antioxidant which promotes eye health in preventing macular degeneration, light sensitivity, and cataracts.) Snapple Apple is missing out.apple

Next time you’re looking for an apple juice or any type fruit juice, make sure to look for “100% pure” or “100% fruit juice” to get all the nutrients of the fruit or vegetable.