Autumn’s warm mid-afternoon days and chilly nights are upon us and its apple picking season here in the Northeast.

Apples really are one of the perfect fruits for people with diabetes. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, they may help ward off heart disease. Soluble fiber found in the fruit’s pectin can help bind cholesterol in the intestine and remove it from the body. Insoluble fiber can help keep your bowels in tip-top shape.

In addition, they contain antioxidants and phenolic compounds (nutritive substances in plants that have health benefits). Oxidative byproducts of cell metabolism can contribute to cell damage and lead to heart disease. Antioxidants help reduce this damage. To get the most antioxidant capacity from your apples eat them with the peel on.

Some fruits, such as bananas or berries, become overripe and unappealing in a few short days. Sometimes we end of throwing them out before we get a chance to eat them. Apples have staying power. Refrigerating apples will slow the ripening process. Apples ripen about six to eight times faster at room temperature than in the refrigerator. Some varieties can stay months in the refrigerator, although they taste the best if eaten within 6 to 8 weeks. If you don’t feel like one today, it will be there tomorrow. Not a bad deal all around.

Although this content is reviewed by Joslin Diabetes Center healthcare professionals, it is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.