One Meal A Day, Keeps the Doctor Away


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One Apple Meal A Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

Many times, we grow up by hearing and believing on some expression, proverb, or saying, like a social, cultural or religious practice and one day we come to know something different that blurs our belief on that. Same is the situation would be if I say, “One apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, is a famous statement, however, it is incomplete revealing a half of the truth…!

Does it shake your belief on it? What if I suggest replacing the expression “One Apple” with “One Meal”? If this seems difficult for many of you to digest and later adopt, science of diet and nutrition with the help of evidence-based practice has got the answer.

“One apple a day” doesn’t indicate after or before taking “one apple” what else you should and/or shouldn’t consume. Supposedly, if you keep on taking high carbohydrate, fats and cholesterol food many times every day along with “One apple”, what do you think that it will still help you to keep the doctor away? Let me make it simple, if you take a good continental breakfast in morning, an Italian cheesy pizza/burger at lunch with a large energy (so called) drink and some spicy Indian curry with meat and rice or bread (chapati/roti) followed by a sizeable piece/plate of Turkish delight/Arabian dessert. Even if you had “an innocent apple” in between those heavy meals, it will not stop you coming closer to the disease and visiting doctors very often.

Some people usually confuse this idea with the concept and religious practices of “fasting”, however, it is different from fasting in a way that in one meal model you set a particular time period to take a complete meal including all basic food components like carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and restrict or limit food intake during the other time.

In fasting, we completely stop eating, whereas, in this model we may have little amount of food and beverages, like tea, coffee, biscuit, few pieces of nuts or a small sized fruit etc.

Scientifically, it has been established that the consumption of fruits like apple may give rise to limited health benefits, however, evidence doesn’t support that consuming “one apple a day keeps the doctor away” (1).

I am aware of world-renowned scientists and nobel prize holders who self-experimented to prove their theories and success models like John Hunter’s self-infection with gonorrhea and syphilis (which may have caused his death years later). Similarly, I have had read through to the story of Prof. Marshall who swallowed a culture of the bacteria, developed gastritis, and then under-went endoscopy and stomach biopsy.

The self-experimentation led to the discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.” The brevity of that citation conceals is the extent to which their work opened the way to a simple cure for a common problem using appropriate antibiotics (2).

By learning and studying through to the intermediary metabolism, medical biochemistry and researching through to basic health science problems, trying to provide a potential solution to non-communicable chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular problems for the last 15 years or more, I come to know that a very possible cause of those above cited medical problems lie in food that we eat (approving “you are, what you eat”).

Also, its not only the type of food that we eat, it is how many times we eat a day matters a lot in creating health issues. Hence, I decided to go for one meal a day, and since not less than 10 years, I have opted upon one meal a day and I can claim I have opted this strategy happy, and successfully.

Briefly, I take a cup of tea or coffee at the time of breakfast before going to work. Please note, the tea and coffee that I take is without any sugar and milk. During office hours, I take a couple of more cups of tea and coffee too without sugar and milk. When I come back home in the evening (around sun set) than with the family I take a standard meal with precise amount of proteins, carbohydrate and little fats. Not always, but a sometimes before going to bed I take a cup of neutral green tea or simple hot water, and that is it. It concludes my daily meal(s).

In return, I am maintaining an average Body Mass Index (BMI) with an appropriate physical, emotional, sexual, mental and spiritual health for the last 10 years of more.

My waist-to-hip ratio and circumference is maintained for the last 12 years and I still wear a couple of properly stitched paints that I bought at my wedding 12 years ago. I don’t remember when I saw the doctor last time for any health issue for myself.

Usually I go to the doctor for either my son’s vaccination or my wife’s routine examinations like cervical screening, flu injections etc. I only remember visiting the doctor for myself during the required medical examinations for immigration application to New Zealand about 5 years ago.

I also remember, when all my medical laboratory investigations and reports landed to the table of the doctor, by looking at the reference values, she remarked that you are infection less, and all your CBC, Blood Sugar, HBA1C, Liver Functions, Renal Functions etc are on an average reference value.

This is to be noted, that throughout the day, I drink plenty of water, warm water especially, which keeps my appetite under control and provides some extra strength to operate efficiently throughout the day during work. I am convinced that it is only because of the meal, and the brief amount of meal that I take daily.

It is therefore strongly recommended to all, to try this one meal a day model and check what you start getting within a month time, as practiced by many others for one month and achieved desirable health benefits (3).


  1. Davis MA, Bynum JPW, Sirovich BE. Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits: Appealing the Conventional Wisdom That an Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May 1; 175(5): 777–783. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5466.
  2. Watts G. Nobel prize is awarded to doctors who discovered H pylori. BMJ. 2005 Oct 8; 331(7520): 795. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.331.7520.795
  3. Ofei M. What I learned from eating one meal a day for 28 days.

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