Image Credit: storebukkebruse / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Best Dried Fruit for Cholesterol

When I saw there was a paper entitled “Daily Dried Apples Versus Daily Dried Plums: Impact on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Postmenopausal Women,” the first thing I thought was well, was the study funded by the U.S. Apple Association, or the International Prune Association? Turns out neither. Just our taxpayer dollars hard at work. Great! So, what did they find?

One hundred and sixty older women were randomly assigned to a dried apple group or a dried plum group and followed for a year. A dozen dried apple rings a day, or about eight prunes. As you can see in my three-minute video, Dried Apples, Dates, Figs, or Prunes for Cholesterol?, within three months, the apple group experienced a significant drop in cholesterol that stayed down throughout the rest of the study, but no cholesterol benefit in the prune group. Both dried fruit regimens lowered C-reactive protein levels about the same—though dried plums may cause a quicker decrease in inflammation, whereas dried apples may result in a greater decrease overall.

Prunes may not help our cholesterol, but they may improve the health of our skin—see Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep. That’s, of course, in addition to their customary regularity role—something I address in Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet.

Twelve apple rings is equivalent to eating about two apples a day. They think that the cholesterol-lowering properties of apples may be due to their unique pectin fiber composition, which may increase fecal excretion of bile. Or, there may be cholesterol-lowering phytonutrients unique to the apples. Either way, this supports the extraordinary findings detailed in my previous video, Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol.

What about dried figs? The California Fig Board did not want to be left out. They put people on 14 figs a day (that’s a lot of figs!) for five weeks, and…nothing. Daily consumption of figs did not appear to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Finally, what about dates? Another recent study tested four or five dates a day, for a month, and again nothing. The dates did tend to bring down triglyceride levels, though, which is surprising, given their sugar content. Studies of the glycemic index of dates found them to have a surprisingly mild effect on blood sugar levels. In Dried Apples, Dates, Figs or Prunes for Cholesterol?, I show graphs comparing the blood sugar effects of straight sugar water, versus that same amount of sugar in date form. More on the sugar content of dates in Are Dates Good For You?; a recipe in Healthy Pumpkin Pie; and my favorite source for dates here (the season just started!).

Dates beat out other common fruits in terms of containing more vitamins and minerals. They’ve even been touted as the “richest source of dietary minerals,” but, because they’re dried, they have about five times more calories than fresh fruits. Thus, in terms of nutrient density, they’re really quite comparable to other fruits. Apples, however, clearly have others beat when it comes to lowering cholesterol.

More on dried fruit can be found in:

Those with asthma may want to choose dried fruits without the preservative sulfur dioxide.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here, and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations: Uprooting the Leading Causes of DeathMore than an Apple a DayFrom Table to Able; and Food as Medicine.

Comenta

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

Deja una respuesta

Tu correo electrónico no se publicará Los campos obligatorios están marcados *

Pin It en Pinterest

Share This