March 8, 2019

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

“An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Most of us have heard this popular health tidbit at least once in our lives. But, is this advice too good to be true?

UAMS family physician Dr. Daniel Knight explains that apples are a good source of fiber, are helpful for keeping good colon health, and can help in weight control. However, they will not necessarily keep the doctor away.

“An apple a day can be a good idea if it replaces less healthy foods,” he says. “If you are replacing high-fructose corn syrup or other high calorie, high carbohydrate foods with an apple, this would be very healthy.”

Dr. Knights says that an apple a day should not keep you from visiting the doctor regularly.

“You should see your doctor for other things on a regular basis. Everyone should have their blood pressure screened at least yearly. Those with a family history of cardiac disease should probably have a lipid profile at a young age and preferably before age 20.”

He says that checking your blood sugar is also very important if you are obese or have a family history of diabetes. Other tests are required depending on your gender and age. Dr. Knight says that you should have your first colonoscopy at age 50.

“If you are a woman, you should discuss the necessary frequency of pap smears with your doctor,” he says. “Mammogram recommendations are another area that is in a state of flux, so you need a doctor to provide a personalized risk assessment.”

Try this healthy apple crunch recipe.