Can Apples Help You Prevent Diabetes?

Published on: 10/02/2021

It’s apple season again and fresh orchard apples are my favorite! I have been challenged this year to find time to get to a local orchard but I did make a quick trip last week and got the tasty apples you see in the bowl.

I love apples as a snack, but also really love them in my favorite apple crisp.  And yes, apple crisp will have more carbohydrates, but I also believe we should have the freedom to enjoy seasonal foods in different ways and my goal is to help people with diabetes enjoy their favorite foods in the healthiest way they can.  That is why I have modified my family recipe to include healthy ingredients and decrease the sugar, and wanted to share it with you.

But first . . .

Did you know apples have been associated with reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, AND are good for digestion?  Here’s a few more details about that.

  • Apples contain pectin, which slows stomach emptying, which means a slower rise in blood sugar.
  • The pectin fiber also helps lower LDL cholesterol, which is often elevated in type 2 diabetes.
  • Apples have phytonutrients that can increase bifidobacteria, a bacteria that is good for our digestive tract and immune system.
  • Apples contain a nutrient called phloretin that has been shown to help lower inflammation in the intestine.

Need some new ideas for enjoying your favorite apple snack? 

Just try to enjoy apples with the peeling on if you can because many of the disease-fighting nutrients are in the peel.

Sliced Apple Dipping Ideas

  • One of my favorites is dipping in Greek honey vanilla yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Almond butter or peanut butter and granola
  • If caramel dip is your favorite, try to avoid dips with high fructose corn syrup

Karen’s Apple Crisp Recipe

This is a family recipe that I adapted by reducing the sugar and increasing the apples, oats and cinnamon, which are all healthy foods for diabetes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch square dish with butter. You can use a 9 x 13-inch dish but then I would double the topping mix.


5-6 cups apples, cut into small pieces: I leave the peeling on after cutting out any bruises or bad spots

2 TBSP flour

2 TBSP sugar

½ TBSP cinnamon

Mix those first 4 ingredients together in a bowl to coat the apples. Pour into the baking dish. Then mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the oat crumble topping.

1 cup quick cooking oats

½ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup butter melted: sometimes I cut one tablespoon off the stick before melting but if you cut back much more than that it may be too dry to hold the oats mixture together.

Sprinkle the oats mixture over the apples

Bake for 20-25 minutes


So now your health challenge is to find some good locally grown apples at the store or take a trip to your favorite orchard before the season ends! You can also check out one of my other favorite fall recipes for chili.


Meet the Author
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Thanks for visiting my blog!

I’m Karen, a diabetes nutrition specialist who is passionate about fighting diabetes for my clients, my family, and myself.

I hope you find food ideas and answers to some of your questions here in my articles. But if you are looking for more personalized help with nutrition or diabetes please check out my services page.

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