Just two apples a day can cut cholesterol levels in women and protect them against heart disease,a new research has claimed.
Researchers from Florida State University in the US found
that apples significantly lowered blood fat levels in postmenopausal women,the group most at risk of heart attacks and strokes.
They recruited 160 women who had been through the
menopause and got half to eat 75 g a day of dried apple – the equivalent of two medium-sized fresh apples.
As a comparison,the other half were told to eat the same
quantity of prunes to see if they had a similar effect. Each
volunteer underwent blood tests every three months for one
Snacking on the fruit every day for six months slashed
cholesterol by almost a quarter. The biggest reduction was
seen in low-density lipoprotein,the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol that furs up arteries and raises the risk of a
life-threatening clot forming near the heart or brain.
The results,published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,showed that after three months total
cholesterol levels in the apple-eating group had dropped by
nine per cent and LDL cholesterol by 16 per cent.
After six months,levels were even lower,with total
cholesterol down 13 per cent and LDL levels dropping by 24 per cent.
Prunes lowered cholesterol levels slightly but not to the
same extent as the dried apple.
“Consumption of about two medium-sized apples can
significantly lower cholesterol levels as early as three
months,” researchers were quoted by the paper as saying.