The Healthiest Apple

The Healthiest Apple
4.38 (87.5%) 16 votes

Putting Red Delicious in its place.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

You also may remember how the USDA measured the antioxidant content of various varieties of apples. Red Delicious shot to #1, with Granny Smith, in a surprise upset, taking the #2 slot.

But people kept asking me, “What about Cortland? What about Empire? What about McIntosh?” Everyone has their own favorite. Someone even asked me, “What about crabapples?” And all I could say was, “I have no clue.” That’s all anyone could, in fact, say, because they hadn’t been tested. Until now.

21 different varieties tested. I mean, why bite into a Red Delicious when you can bite into a good old 56-9-181 apple? There are actually 7,500 different types of apples, but let’s look at some crowd favorites. In alphabetical order: Braeburn, Cortland, crabapples, Empire, Golden Nugget, Honeycrisp, and Idared.

Here’s the graph, and we have a new winner! In fact, two new winners, putting Red Delicious in its place. We have a new loser, too—less nutritious than even a Fuji!

Let’s start there. Which one’s the least nutritious apple? And the bad apple is: Golden Nugget.

What about #1? Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the healthiest of them all? Let’s take a bite out of the tree of knowledge. Crabapples!  Crabapples? Gross.

What’s this one? What’s the healthiest apple you can actually buy? Five options left to choose from: Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Honeycrisp, or Idared. Well, it’s not McIntosh; not Empire; not Braeburn—I love Braeburn—and not Cortland.

The healthiest apple apple, beating out Red Delicious, is Idared.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

You also may remember how the USDA measured the antioxidant content of various varieties of apples. Red Delicious shot to #1, with Granny Smith, in a surprise upset, taking the #2 slot.

But people kept asking me, “What about Cortland? What about Empire? What about McIntosh?” Everyone has their own favorite. Someone even asked me, “What about crabapples?” And all I could say was, “I have no clue.” That’s all anyone could, in fact, say, because they hadn’t been tested. Until now.

21 different varieties tested. I mean, why bite into a Red Delicious when you can bite into a good old 56-9-181 apple? There are actually 7,500 different types of apples, but let’s look at some crowd favorites. In alphabetical order: Braeburn, Cortland, crabapples, Empire, Golden Nugget, Honeycrisp, and Idared.

Here’s the graph, and we have a new winner! In fact, two new winners, putting Red Delicious in its place. We have a new loser, too—less nutritious than even a Fuji!

Let’s start there. Which one’s the least nutritious apple? And the bad apple is: Golden Nugget.

What about #1? Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the healthiest of them all? Let’s take a bite out of the tree of knowledge. Crabapples!  Crabapples? Gross.

What’s this one? What’s the healthiest apple you can actually buy? Five options left to choose from: Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Honeycrisp, or Idared. Well, it’s not McIntosh; not Empire; not Braeburn—I love Braeburn—and not Cortland.

The healthiest apple apple, beating out Red Delicious, is Idared.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

To see more on the health benefits of apple consumption, check out these videos:
Apple Skin: Peeling Back Cancer
Dried Apples, Dates, Figs or Prunes for Cholesterol?

And check out my other videos on fruit

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge, and Dr. Greger’s Natural Nausea Remedy Recipe.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

21 responses to “The Healthiest Apple

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  1. Havebeen on vegan diet for a year. How do I know if I am having enough protein. I have not paid much attention to protein content of food.

  2. This is great. Easy way to choose a variety when shopping. Could you please do videos, or at least a list of the antioxidant levels in different varieties of oranges (or related fruits) like clementines, tangerines, tangelo, blood oranges etc? And tomatoes (plum, grape, cherry etc). And other foods where there are similar options. That would be wonderful. I love these videos so much.

  3. Is there more antioxidants per apple or percent? I love Galas and Fujis but they’re about half the size of a Granny Smith (which I also love but can’t find organic around here)

  4. Interesting, I’ve never seen an Idared in any stores or farmer’s markets, even in orchards. I’ll eat a red delicious now and then, although they’re by far the most hit-or-miss apple.

  5. I was comparing this to my memory of a list of apples by sweetness that is in my local supermarket’s produce section. There seems to be an inverse correlation between sweetness and anti-oxidant level.

  6. Dr Greger, can you please comment on the disparity between the figures shown here and those in the 3100 foods study. Unless I’m reading the numbers wrong, the 3100 study shows an average antioxidant content for apples of 0.31 mmol TE/100g, which is 310 umol TE/100g. Given that a typical apple weights around 150g, this amounts to 465 umol TE per apple, which is about one tenth of the numbers you’re showing here.

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