Those Cancer-Fighting Apples

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Chances are, you have some leftover apples from Thursday’s feast – whether they’re whole or in pie form. We all know apples are healthy, but recent cancer research will make you feel even better about biting into America’s second favorite fruit.

Apple with cinnamon
A study published this week in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention found that eating at least one apple a day significantly lowered the risk of colorectal cancer. The study participants ate relatively low amounts of fruits and vegetable, with apples the most frequent fruit consumed. Eating more than one apple a day reduced the risk by about 50 percent.

This week’s Cancer Research Update looks at the lab work of a Cornell University food scientist who has spent almost a decade exploring how apples may prevent cancer development.

Did you know there are so many apple varieties, you could eat a different type every day for 19 years without repeating, if you traveled the world that is. You can see how the most popular varieties compare to one another in Apples: A Healthy Temptation.

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    Fewer Calories. Really?

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    It’s not often we hear that holiday foods have actually decreased in calories over the years. But, according to Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab analysis of traditional Thanksgiving recipes, some of our favorites are a bit leaner today than in the 1950s.

    Ginger Carrots from AICR New American Plate CookbookGreen beans with almonds, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie recipes each weighed in at an average of 102 calories less. Dinner rolls increased by 26 calories; corn and candied carrots remained the same. The analysis compared recipes from Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks, the 1956 vs. the 2006 editions.

    According to the researchers, a Thanksgiving dinner with those eight sides plus a drumstick is 2,057 calories today compared to 2,539 in 1956.

    The catch is that the serving sizes have to be the same. With our larger plates and portion up-sizing, we may not see those calorie savings according to Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

    AICR’s Bottom Line: Enjoy your favorite turkey day foods, but remember that moderate portions mean more days of delicious leftovers!

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