(Natural News) Apples really do keep the doctor away. Researchers from San Diego State University suggest that apples, particularly dried ones, can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin response.
The researchers reached this conclusion after looking at the potential of dried apples to regulate blood sugar and insulin in a group of healthy people. The researchers also looked at the effect of dried apple consumption on levels of satiety and total plasma antioxidant, as well as its effect on cognitive responses.
They carried out the study by recruiting 21 healthy people and asking them to eat a standardized serving size of either dried apple or muffins after fasting for 10 hours. The researchers measured the participants’ blood sugar, insulin, and antioxidant levels before the intervention and after 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes of consumption of dried apples or muffins. In addition, the participants performed cognitive tests before and two hours after the consumption of dried apple or muffins.
The researchers found that dried apple contains more phenolic compounds and had substantially higher antioxidant activities than muffins. Results also showed that blood sugar levels were substantially reduced 30 minutes after dried apple consumption. This blood sugar-lowering effect was retained even after two hours of consumption. In addition, lower insulin levels were seen after 15 minutes of eating a dried apple. However, the researchers reported that consuming a dried apple did not significantly affect antioxidant status, satiety, and cognitive function.
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Based on these findings, the researchers conclude that eating dried apples could lower blood sugar levels and potentially improve insulin responses in healthy people. These findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
Apples are also good for people with diabetes
Some people with diabetes tend to steer away from eating fruits because they think that their sugar content is unhealthy for them. However, eating fruits like apple can be a good addition to the diet of people with diabetes.
People with diabetes regulate their sugar levels by controlling their intake of foods that contain sugars and carbohydrates. A medium-sized apple contains about 25 grams (g) of carbs and around 19 g of that is sugar.
However, the American Diabetes Association says that eating apples and other fruit would not be a problem for people with Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes because they contain a different type of sugar. Unlike foods with added sugar, apples contain sugar in the form of naturally occurring fructose, which affects the body differently. In a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers concluded that replacing glucose or sucrose with fructose resulted in less sugar and insulin in the bloodstream after a meal.
In addition, a medium-sized apple contains 4 g of dietary fiber. Research suggests that the fiber content of an apple may help slow the absorption of sugars in the body. This, in turn, could help prevent spikes in sugar and insulin. This fiber also helps keep a person full and lower cholesterol levels. Moreover, fiber has anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to the recovery from diabetes-related infections. You can also combine apples and other fruits with a healthy fat or protein to lower blood sugar spikes (Related: Apple extracts increase the excretion of cholesterol by an impressive 35% in healthy people.)
However, drinking apple juice is discouraged for people with diabetes, unless it contains 100 percent real fruit. Experts suggest people with diabetes limit their intake because fruit juices may contain more sugar and less fiber compared to fresh fruits, which can cause a higher spike in sugar.