I got excited today when I ran across a study that claimed eating apples will increase my muscle while reducing my fat. I avoid squishing myself into Spandex and hitting the gym whenever I can and I like apples - I am so on board! But my giddiness was short-lived because just minutes later, I discovered the Environmental Working Group had released their Dirty Dozen list and apples are at the top!

First, the good news...

New research suggests that ursolic acid, which is found in abundance in an apple's peal, builds muscles while reducing fat.

In fact, in tests performed on lab mice, ursolic acid increased muscle tone by up to 15 percent, and reduced body fat by half. By HALF! Those are some fantastic looking mice!

Ursolic acid also appears to reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

The next step for the University of Iowa scientists who made this discovery is to test ursolic acid's effects on humans.

Now, if you think apples sound like the answer to all your problems... tell me how you feel about eating pesticides.

While pesticides are definitely bad for pests, they may also be bad for humans. The Environmental Working Group (who say they provide family friendly research) just put out their list of the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen". These lists identify the fruits and vegetable that are the most and the least contaminated with pesticides.

Now, they do say that the benefits of eating fruits and vegetable outweigh the risks...but I know I'll be getting everything I can at the Farmer's Market!