In a randomized trial of 160 post-menopausal women, it was found that regular consumption of apples lowered unhealthy LDL cholesterol, raised beneficial HDL cholesterol and diminished the presence of inflammatory and damaging compounds, according to Florida State University researchers.
Every day for a year, half of the women ate 75 grams of dried apples and the remainder consumed the same amount of prunes. Their blood was tested at three intervals over the trial period.
The women who ate apples experienced an average 23 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol after six months, and raised beneficial lipids by 4 percent. They also had lower levels of cell-damaging lipid hydroperoxide and inflammatory proteins, compared to the participants who ate prunes.
Moreover, despite the 240 calories that the apples added to the women's daily intake, they saw an average weight loss of 3.3 percent.
"Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake," said study author Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., R.D.
The researchers noted that the pectin and fiber found in apples may help consumers feel satiated.