There is a new scientific paper being discussed today that claims that people who eat the equivalent of one large apple a day are at lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

The paper, presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting was produced by Nutrition Impact, LLC , paid for by the American apple industry and heartily endorsed by the author of the 16th C rhyme “An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” .

The paper analyzed data collected in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. After crunching the data, Nutrition Impact concluded that adults who eat apples and/or apple products (juice, sauce) are 27% less likely to have metabolic syndrome than non-consumers.

Other benefits for the apple eaters include: smaller waistlines, less abdominal fat, and lower blood pressure.

Not too suprisingly, when compared to apple abstainers, those who chose to indulge eat more fruit in general. They ingest higher levels of fibre, vitamins A and C, calcium and potassium. They also eat less total fat, saturated fat, modified fats and total sugar.

From this paper, I think it is safe to say that apples make up part of a healthy diet. When compared to other fruits, the apple is not a magic anti-Metabolic Syndrome pill. However, when compared to the typical North American diet of sugar, modified fats and a variety of non-foods, the apple is a superstar.