We all know the old wives' tale that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or so it has been claimed. According to legend, the only time Johnny Appleseed got sick was at the time of his death. Since he was born on September 26, 1774 and lived until 1845, that is over 80 years without being sick! Interestingly one medium apple with peel contains around 3.3 grams of fiber, while a peeled apple contains only 1.5 grams. There are several types of dietary fiber. The one abundant in apples, and to some extent in all fruits and vegetables, is called pectin. It is water soluble, and water-soluble fiber has been shown t reduce blood cholesterol levels. What happens apparently is that each particle of fiber grabs an armful of bile salts on its way through the intestine in a process called "binding" and carries it out of the body during excretion. The body then has to make new bile salts and evidently uses cholesterol as the raw material, thus keeping the blood cholesterol level down.