By Allison Avery
April 22, 2013

Belly fat can hurt your health. A waistline larger than 35 inches can raise your risk of metabolic syndrome—a combo of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar—that can up your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Try an apple a day—people who eat apples significantly reduce their risks. A recent study by the NHANES found that apple eaters have smaller waistlines with less belly fat, lower blood pressure, and a 27% lower chance of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. They also had significantly reduced C-reactive protein (CRP) levels; high CRP is linked to heart disease.

Here's your get-more-apples plan. Change up how you get your one a day. Mix chopped apples into your chicken salad, saute apples as a side dish for chicken breasts or pork loin, substitute applesauce for half the oil or butter when baking, or whip up a salad dressing or marinade with apple juice. Another trick: Put dried apples in your oatmeal to add sweetness and nutrients to your a.m. meal.

By Allison Avery
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