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Posted on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

Caramel apple part of the sweet taste of fall and it's healthy, too

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

The gooey goodness of a caramel apple is a sure sign fall has arrived. Among all the other fall treats, including candies and donuts, let’s look at why a caramel apple may be one of your best choices.

Eaten alone, a medium-size apple is about 80 calories. The apple is fat-free, sodium-free and provides us with some complex carbohydrates and fiber. With the abundance of varieties available to us, no matter what your taste preference, I am sure you will find one that pleases you.

The caramel is what turns an ordinary apple into an extraordinary fall treat! The average caramel apple has 160 calories and about 28 grams of sugar. This amount of sugar may seem like a lot, but it’s about the same amount you find in a fruit yogurt. So, once we have added the caramel, our apple is now about 240 calories, which is the same as one candy bar.

If you are like me, I prefer caramel apples with peanuts. By adding these peanuts, I just increased my monounsaturated fats, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, protein, folate as well as fiber for the day. The caramel apple just turned into a mini meal with all three macronutrients represented: carbohydrates, protein and fat!

If you are looking for a decadent fall treat, my advice is to give the caramel apple a try!

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor, She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at



Mon, Oct 25, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

Great article! It's always good to hear ways of making smart choices. The fact that it averages out the the same a candy bar and yet has added nutrients will make this a go to treat!


Mon, Oct 25, 2010 : 4:59 a.m.

So....the average caramel apple has 160 calories. Add caramel and you have 240 calories. Usually fixes these types of typos.


Sun, Oct 24, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

Let's have more input from nutritionists who work with tasty, accessible recipes. This is terrific. Now how about soups, salads and delicious entree's that appeal and have accessible ingredients.


Fri, Oct 22, 2010 : 8:33 p.m.

I opened this story because I thought it was a recipe, but now I am confused. Are there 160 calories in a caramel apple, or 240? And how can all caramel apples have the same number of calories? If I make the caramel with cream, or half-and-half, whole milk or skim milk, are they all the same? Is one commercial brand of caramel the same calorically as every other brand? Think I'll just grab a Snicker's bar.