How Many Calories Are in an Apple?

The good old apple is a fruit type that is favored in many countries. It can be stored for a long time and is packed with nutrients. In this article, we will discuss how many calories an average apple contains, which ones you should choose, and what the most effective way to remove pesticides when washing apples is.

Image Credit: Patrizia Savarese /

Nutrition facts

Although the peak apple season in the fall, it can be a good source of nutrients that can be consumed regardless of the season: besides the apples themselves, there are apple juice and dried apples.

An average apple weighs about 180-182 g. It is the weight of a medium-sized apple which is about 3 inches in diameter.

One such apple contains 85-95 calories depending on the apple variety.

As to the apple content, it’s 85% of water, 14% of carbohydrates, and 1% is fat and protein.

One average apple contains 25 g of carbs, so it is recommended to consume apples in moderation because huge apples can contain about 35 g of carbohydrates – a large amount not suitable for certain diets.

It is a good idea to choose apples the size of a tennis ball, and there are two reasons for it.

  1. It will be easier to control the amount of carbs you have just consumed (it can be important information for some).
  2. Large apples are usually genetically modified or grown with the help of special chemicals, so organic apples should be preferred.

If it’s calories that we count, then eating one medium-sized apple equals the following:

  • 1.5 slices of white bread;
  • 0.4 cup of smashed boiled potatoes;
  • 1 large orange;
  • 2 cucumbers;
  • 1.5 oz of apple pie;
  • 0.17 Big Mac burger.

Benefits of apple peel and flesh

Some people prefer to eat apples without their peel, but they miss a lot of nutrients doing so. The peel is rich in chromium, which can help prevent diabetes, as it contributes to the proper use of insulin.

Besides, there are phytonutrients and fiber, which means removing the peel, while certainly helping avoid consumption of pesticides, is throwing away a lot of nutrients. The fiber contained in it can help you keep hunger away longer. The quercetin in the skin is a flavonoid, which is thought to be able to help prevent heart diseases and even fight cancer cells.

As to the benefits of apple flesh, it contains a lot of vitamin C and polyphenols. It can also affect the human microbiome and benefit the gut.

The newly discovered benefit of eating apples is that they can help repair lungs in ex-smokers. They share this property with tomatoes, another nutrient-rich food. A recent study showed that consumption of tomatoes and apples can help slow lung function decline and even restore lungs damaged by smoking.

How to wash apples properly

The commonly used way to wash apples is to rinse them in freshwater. However, such an approach maybe not be enough to wash away all the pesticides that are used to protect the fruit and fend off insects.

Recent research demonstrated that in order to remove thiabendazole and phosmet, i.e. common insecticides and fungicides, you should let an apple soak in a special baking solution for 12-15 minutes: such an approach enables one to remove up to 80% of the former and 95% of the latter. The remaining 20% and 5% penetrated the apple skin and could not be removed. The solution in question was a mix of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 cups of water. The investigators say this way of washing is more effective than just rinsing the fruit or even using bleach solutions used by many farmers.


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