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What is the healthiest apple for weight loss?

Apples are one of the most popular and nutritious fruits. They are high in fiber and nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. Apples have been shown to promote weight loss in several ways.

Certain types of apples may be more effective for weight loss than others. The key differences between apple varieties are sweetness, firmness, fiber content and polyphenol antioxidants.

This article reviews the most weight loss friendly apple varieties and provides tips on incorporating apples into a healthy diet.

Apples and Weight Loss

Apples are low in calories and high in fiber. This combination makes them an ideal snack for weight loss.

One medium apple contains:

  • 95 calories
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 14% of your daily vitamin C needs
  • 9% of your daily potassium needs

The fiber content helps make apples filling. Eating fiber-rich apples may suppress appetite between meals (1).

Apples are also high in polyphenol antioxidants. In studies, diets rich in these antioxidants have been linked to weight loss (2, 3).

Apples can also promote weight loss in several other ways:

  • Blood sugar control. Apples have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not spike blood sugar as quickly as most other fruits (4). Keeping blood sugar and insulin levels down can promote appetite control and fat burning (5).
  • Gut health. The polyphenols and fiber in apples may promote good bacteria in your gut. Healthy gut bacteria has been linked with weight loss (6).
  • Satiety. Apples are very high in water. The fiber and water in apples make them very filling.

In one study, women ate the same number of calories but lost more weight on a diet supplementing daily meals with apples or apple cider vinegar, compared to a control group (7).

Summary: Apples are low in calories but high in fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. Eating apples may aid weight loss in several ways.

Polyphenol Antioxidants in Apples

All apples contain polyphenol antioxidants, which are linked to many health benefits.

However, some varieties contain up to 4 times more antioxidants than others (8, 9).

Polyphenol antioxidants found in apples include:

  • Quercetin: May have anti-obesity effects and promote healthy gut bacteria growth (10).
  • Chlorogenic acid: May promote fat burning by reducing the digestibility of carbs (11).
  • Catechin: Associated with accelerated fat burning and reduced body fat (12).
  • Phloridzin: May promote healthy blood sugar levels.

The polyphenol antioxidants in apples have been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes (13, 14).

Summary: Apples contain various antioxidants linked to health benefits like reduced risk of chronic diseases. Some apple varieties contain more antioxidants than others.

The Most Weight Loss Friendly Apples

Some apples may promote weight loss more than others:

1. Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples are known for their bright green color and tart, crisp taste.

Studies have shown that tart apples suppress appetite and boost metabolism more than sweet apples (15).

The main reason is their high content of acetic acid, the main active compound in apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid is linked to appetite reduction, fat burning and blood sugar control (16, 17, 18).

Granny Smiths also rank very high in antioxidant content, compared to other popular apples (19).

A study in obese mice found those fed a powder of Granny Smith apples lost significantly more weight than the control group. They also improved their blood sugar and cholesterol levels (20).

2. Fuji

Fuji apples have a very sweet taste and cream-colored flesh. They’re very crisp in texture.

Although they are sweeter than most apples, Fuji apples rank very high in antioxidant content (21).

Human studies show that eating antioxidant-rich apples is linked to lower calorie intake and body weight (7).

What’s more, Fuji apples contain a high amount of pectin fibers. These helpful fibers gel up in your gut, slowing the emptying of your stomach and increasing feelings of fullness (22).

3. Pink Lady

Pink lady apples, also known as Cripps Pink, are a great cross between the sweetness of the Red Delicious and tangy Granny Smith.

They rank very high in antioxidant content and offer a good balance between sweetness and tartness (23).

Studies comparing the effects of eating different apple varieties found the polyphenol antioxidants in Pink Lady apples had the most consistent association with preventing weight gain (24).

One study gave humans apple smoothies and found that Pink Lady smoothies promoted feelings of fullness more than any other variety (25).

However, more human research is needed.

4. Gala

Gala apples are very popular. They have a mildly sweet flavor and crisp texture.

Studies testing many apple varieties showed that Gala apples are often the highest ranked in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity (26, 27).

A study in over 1,000 people found those who ate apples daily had lower body weights than those who did not. Of the different apple varieties, Gala apples were associated with the lowest risk of weight gain (28).

One study in mice fed a high-fat diet found those given purified apple polyphenol extracts from Gala apples gained 23% less body fat over 12 weeks compared to a control group (29).

5. Red Delicious

Red delicious apples live up to their name, being very bright red. They’re mildy sweet and quite firm.

Red delicious apples are very high in antioxidant content. One study found they have the highest content of disease-fighting quercetin antioxidants (30).

The same study also noted that antioxidants are most concentrated in the peel of the apple. This means that leaving the skin on provides the greatest health benefits.

When comparing several popular apple varieties, Red delicious apples were found to have the highest antioxidant activity (31).

Summary: Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala and Red delicious apples are all high in antioxidants and fiber, compared to other popular varieties. Thus, they may be most effective for weight loss.

Other Healthy Apple Varieties

Although the above apple varieties appear to be the most weight loss friendly, several other apples are also nutritious:


Honeycrisp apples are hugely popular, due to their perfect balance of sweetness and crisp, juicy texture.

Human studies comparing organic and conventional apples found that choosing organic Honeycrisp apples specifically led to the greatest reduction in pesticide exposure (32).

If you are concerned about pesticide residues, picking organic Honeycrisp apples is a great choice.


Braeburn apples are high in antioxidants, mainly because of their rich purple-red color (33).

One study found Braeburn apples contained 6 times more antioxidant activity than Golden Delicious apples (34).


McIntosh apples come in shades of deep red and green. They have tender, juicy flesh and refreshing flavor.

One study found Red and Green McIntosh apples had the highest amounts of antioxidants, compared to Empire, Cortland, Ida Red and Mutsu apple varieties (35).

Summary: Honeycrisp, Braeburn and McIntosh also make healthy choices. If organic, Honeycrisp may contain fewer pesticides.

Incorporating Apples Into Your Diet

There are endless ways you can add apples to your daily diet.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add sliced apples to yogurt, oatmeal or cottage cheese.
  • Saute apples in coconut oil with cinnamon to make apple pie or apple crisp.
  • Bake apples and stuff with pecans, walnuts or raisins for a sweet treat.
  • Mix apples into savory salads or slaws.
  • Blend apples into smoothies and juices.
  • Spread nut butter onto apple slices for an easy snack.

Apples can be enjoyed in all meals and make a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

If you’re new to eating apples every day, start with a small amount. Gradually increase until you’re consuming around one medium apple per day.

The Bottom Line

Apples are incredibly nutritious and provide fiber, antioxidants and nutrients that support weight loss.

Enjoying fiber- and antioxidant-rich apples may help suppress appetite, promote gut health and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Choose a mix of different apple varieties and colors to maximize the antioxidant and fiber intake.

The healthiest choices include Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala and Red Delicious apples.

Add apples to your daily routine for their weight loss benefits and overall contribution to good health.