Is red or green apple better for weight loss?

Apples are one of the most popular and nutritious fruits. They are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Studies show that eating apples may promote weight loss. Interestingly, different types of apples may have slightly different effects.

This article reviews the evidence on whether red or green apples are better for weight loss.

Nutrition comparison

In general, red and green apples have very similar nutrient profiles. However, there are a few subtle differences.

Calories and carbs

One medium apple contains:

  • Red apple: 95 calories and 25 grams of carbs
  • Green apple: 80 calories and 21 grams of carbs

Green apples are slightly lower in calories and carbs. The difference equates to around 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of carbs.


Apples are rich in fiber, with a single medium-sized fruit providing about 4 grams. Fiber slows digestion and promotes fullness.

Red and green apples contain similar amounts of fiber. Thus, neither variety has an advantage in this regard.

Vitamin C

Apples are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune health. Red apples contain slightly more:

  • Red apple: 11% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Green apple: 9% of the DV

The difference is minor and unlikely to significantly impact health.


Both red and green apples are rich in antioxidants, which help counter inflammation and protect cells from damage. However, the antioxidant content varies between different types of apples.

For example, Red Delicious apples contain more of the antioxidant quercetin, while Granny Smiths are highest in catechins and chlorogenic acid.

Overall, antioxidants are found in similar amounts in red and green varieties.

Effects on weight loss

Eating apples may promote weight loss in several ways:

Low energy density

The energy density of food refers to the number of calories it contains relative to its weight. Foods with a low energy density provide fewer calories per gram.

Apples have a low energy density, meaning you can eat large portions without consuming too many calories. This is linked to reduced calorie intake and body weight over time.

High in fiber

Apples are high in fiber, including the soluble fiber pectin. Eating fiber-rich foods slows digestion, increasing fullness and decreasing calorie intake.

In one study, women who ate apples lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) over 12 weeks.

High water content

Apples are 86% water, giving them low energy density. Eating foods with high water content has been linked to lower overall calorie intake.

In a study in 30 obese women, eating high water content foods like apples increased fullness and reduced calorie intake more than drinking water alone.

Slows digestion

The fiber and water in apples slow digestion, keeping you full for longer between meals.

In one study, participants who ate an apple as part of a meal felt fuller and ate less calories during their next meal than those who consumed apple juice.

May promote bacterial growth

Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber readily fermented in the gut. Eating apples may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Healthy gut bacteria have been linked with a reduced risk of obesity. Pectin may also decrease hunger hormones and increase short-chain fatty acids, which reduce appetite.

Low glycemic index

Apples have a low glycemic index (GI). This means they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

Stable blood sugar levels also help manage food intake and hunger levels. Foods with a low GI are associated with healthier body weights.

Red apples vs. green apples

Although red and green apples are highly nutritious, studies directly comparing their effects on weight are lacking.

However, evidence suggests green apples may be slightly more effective for weight loss.

In a study including over 8,000 adults, green apple consumption was associated with lower body weight. Red apple intake showed no significant association.

Additionally, the GI of Granny Smith apples is 6 points lower than Red Delicious apples. The lower GI may result in more stable blood sugar levels.

Overall, more research is needed on this topic.

Other health benefits

Apples provide many other health benefits beyond weight control. However, research has not indicated that red and green apples differ significantly in this regard.

Benefits linked to apple consumption include:

  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Protection against cancer
  • Improved gut and brain health

Best ways to eat apples

Here are simple ways to add apples to your diet:

Whole apples

Eat apples whole with the skin on. The skin contains 4–5 times more nutrients than the flesh.

Sliced apples

Slice apples and enjoy them solo or dip the slices in peanut butter or hummus.

Apple chips

Dehydrate apple slices to make healthy, baked apple chips without added sugar.


Make unsweetened applesauce in a blender using 2–3 apples and a little water or milk.


Add chopped apples to smoothies. They pair well with almond milk and cinnamon.


Toss sliced apples into leafy green or chicken salads for a crunchy topping.

Baked apples

Core an apple, stuff with oats, nuts, raisins, and cinnamon, and bake until tender.

The bottom line

Both red and green apples are weight loss friendly foods. However, green apples may have an edge due to their slightly lower calorie count and glycemic index. That said, both varieties are healthy and can be enjoyed as part of a weight loss diet.

In the end, the best apple for weight loss is one that you enjoy eating and can fit into your calorie goals for the day.

Nutrient Red apple Green apple
Calories 95 80
Carbs 25 grams 21 grams
Fiber 4 grams 4 grams
Vitamin C 11% DV 9% DV

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