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Apples promote weight loss, doctor says

This apple-based stir fry offers an excellent source of dietary fiber, which makes people fuller longer, meaning less temptation for between-meal snacking.
January 19, 2005 - Recent studies show apples may promote weight loss; especially good news for more than 60 percent of the population that is either overweight or obese, said Dr. Eliza-beth Pivonka of Produce for Better Health.

Apples are the most varied food on the planet, she said, and offer a wide-variety of healthy dishes from all over the world.

The list of colorful apple varieties tops 7,500, including more than 2,500 varieties grown in the U.S.

The tasty, portable fruit contains 80 calories and roughly 5 grams of dietary fiber on average per medium apple, Pivonka said, making apples an excellent source of dietary fiber.

Studies show eating a high fiber diet can promote post-meal "satiety," she said. As a result, dieters may feel full for longer, meaning tasty yet fattening snacks become less appealing.

Research also shows eating a high fiber diet can reduce total calorie intake and, as a result, contribute to overall weight loss, Pivonka said.

"Aim for about 14 grams of total dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume, or about 28 grams for women; 35 grams for men," she said.

Along with fiber, diets including 5 to 9 daily servings of colorful fruits and vegetables help insure a wide variety of important nutrients and phytochemicals. Pivonka recommends eating at least one or two servings from each color group per day — red, yellow-orange, white, green and blue-purple.

Each colorful apple variety has its own unique flavor and best uses, Pivonka said.

Some — Fuji, Gala, McIntosh, Pink Lady and Red Delicious — excel as snacks.

Others — Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Jonathan and Rome Beauty — are better for cooking, she said.

This quick and colorful recipe calls for baking apples.

Apple Chicken Stir-Fry

1 pound boneless, skinless

chicken breast, cubed

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

cup onion, vertically sliced

1 cup (2 medium) carrots,

thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried basil, crushed

1 cup fresh or frozen

Chinese pea pods

1 medium baking apple,

cored and thinly sliced

2 cups cooked rice

Stir-fry chicken cubes in oil in a non-stick skillet until lightly browned and cooked through.

Remove from skillet then stir-fry onion, carrots and basil in the same skillet until carrots are tender.

Stir in pea pods and 1 tablespoon of water; stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in apple and cooked chicken. Serve hot over cooked rice. Makes four servings.

Nutritional Information per serving, according to Pivonka: 323 calories; 8.5 grams of total fat; 1.1 grams of saturated fat; 23 percent of calories are from fat; 3 percent of calories are from saturated fat; 29 grams of protein; 31 grams of carbohydrates; 66 milligrams of cholesterol; 2.8 grams of dietary fiber; and 102 milligrams of sodium.

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