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Ask Tufts Experts April 2013 Issue

Q: Are green apples different in nutrition from red apples?

Answer : Diane McKay, a scientist in Tufts’ HNRCA Antioxidant Nutrition Laboratory, answers: “Not really. When you compare the nutrients in green apples (including Granny Smith) versus red apples (including Red Delicious and Royal Gala), the differences are minimal. They all provide the same amount of fiber and vitamin C. However, the green varieties tend to be slightly lower (about 10%) in both calories and carbohydrates, while the red varieties tend to be higher (about 50%) in beta carotene—presumably due to their color. With regard to the different types of phytochemicals present in these apples, it depends on how they are measured. One study showed significantly higher amount of total phenolics in Granny Smith apples, while in another study Red Delicious came out on top. Variations in nutrient and phytochemical content can be due to a number of factors including where the apples are grown, when they are harvested, and how they are stored."   

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