07 September 2011 ~ 7 Comments

Dried Fruit, Cholesterol and Reaction to Women Working Out

As a change of pace I thought I would share and comment on some interesting items I read this week.

First a really positive topic – the value of dried apples.  If you are like most people, dried fruit in general is not part of your daily intake of fruit  –  we have been warned over the years about the high sugar content of dried fruit and of course fresh is always better.  Then there comes an interesting study on dried apples…….. who thinks of these things and more important did studies of dried peaches and apricots not “bear fruit” (so to speak)?   One has to wonder about all the studies on the other dried fruits that didn’t give these unexpected and positive results.

I subscribe to “Alternatives”, a monthly newsletter that reports on new findings, and quotes the sources and the research.  Very often I will see other reports of the same studies, so I do find the articles in the newsletter to be reliable.  This one definitely took me by surprise!

“Consuming dried apples daily can have a very positive effect on overall cholesterol levels”.

Based on the study, this is not one of those statements indicating that since apples contain some fiber, it must be good for you.   To quote further:  “In one study 80 women consumed 75 grams (2.64 ounces) of dried apples daily for a year.”  This is not trivial – it added about 240 calories per day to their diet if they made no other changes.  “At the end of the year

  • their total cholesterol was down 14%.
  • their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels had fallen 23%, and
  • their “good” HDL cholesterol increased 4%
  • more remarkably, there was a 32% decline in their C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation and a known risk factor in cardiovascular disease.

The next obvious question is what these additional calories (high in fruit sugar) did to their weight.  The study group lost and average of 3 pounds without making any other changes to their diet.

As the author says – can you imagine if a cholesterol drug could produce these results.   Instead the bad news on cholesterol-lowering drugs seems to be ever more frequent. The reported side effects (muscle weakness, birth defects and Parkinson’s disease) are ever more concerning, yet Statins have become the world’s most profitable group of drugs – annual sales around $26 billion.  Dried apples put most cholesterol drugs to shame – and they do it safely.

And as for the concern with sugar – studies have shown that dried apricots, peaches, plums and apples  actually have fairly low glycemic indexes.   This means that the sugar in these fruits is absorbed slowly during consumption, and thus do not spike the blood sugar levels.  I have a Glycemic Index Chart and here are a few items with their respective index for comparison:

  • Almonds 0
  • Prunes (dried plums) 29
  • Dried Apricots 32
  • Fresh Plum 39
  • Brown Rice 50
  • Banana 51
  • Baked Potato 94

The chart I purchased is printed on a single page so it is limited to about 175 items – and it doesn’t show dried apples –  but I looked it up online and it is listed as 29, same as prunes.

You are unlikely to see comparisons between dried apples and cholesterol drugs any time soon.  But armed with this information you can make a difference in your health.

Talking of “Armed” – what is it about the arms of women who work out that so upsets the main-stream media?  What is the obsession – not positive – with women getting some muscle tone?

In this case I did not read the whole article.  I was in line at the drug store and as usual I glanced at a couple of the magazines on the racks.  First laughed then felt somewhat frustrated as I read the date on the magazine.  It was not an old magazine from the 80’s that somehow found its way to the magazine rack of 2011 – it was in fact a September 2011 magazine, and the caption was something along the lines of: “…… despite warnings that she risks losing movie opportunities, Cameron Diaz continues weight training and building muscle…..”.

As illustration of this “major transformation” there were two photos of Cameron Diaz.  One showed her a year or so ago – great body in a bikini, all smooth lines.  The other was a more recent photo with the slightest bit of a bicep visible as she paddled a canoe!  Seriously???   Does anyone really think Cameron is ready to enter the Miss Olympia contest?  And why could the magazine not report positively on this fairly minor transformation?  (Rhetorical question – no answer expected.)

One of my very first blog posts was in response to the ludicrous article about Michelle Obama’s arms (see Arms and the Woman), and that was 2 years ago.  One can only laugh and I encourage you to do weights as part of your exercise routine; even at the risk that Hollywood may turn you down for some juicy role.  You will likely have the satisfaction of outliving the pompous Hollywood moguls!

7 Responses to “Dried Fruit, Cholesterol and Reaction to Women Working Out”

  1. Dennis Fletcher 7 September 2011 at 2:48 am Permalink

    I have always been an admirer of muscular arms and legs in women, and if a Hollywood producer, would spice up my films with these beautiful woman who obviously care about the function as well as the form of their bodies. Dennis

  2. arlene 7 September 2011 at 7:22 pm Permalink

    very interesting blog Moira, your research and updates are always appreciated. Can’t believe the Cameron Diaz story – she’s looking hotter than ever! Loved your closing line . Good one Dennis, I agree. Arlene

  3. Kary Deblauw 19 September 2011 at 11:36 pm Permalink

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  6. annabelle 8 January 2015 at 1:43 am Permalink

    this blog is very enlightening i love dried fruits so much as i do with fresh fruits i am turning 47 this year and have five kids..no time for gym and jog somewhere so i turned my chores into my personal workouts and it works so far..

  7. annabelle 8 January 2015 at 1:45 am Permalink

    this blog is very enlightening i love dried fruits so much as i do with fresh fruits i am turning 47 this year and have five kids..no time for gym and jog somewhere so i turned my chores into my personal workouts and it worked so far..

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