Apple Skins


Hi All,  I thought I'd share something I recently discovered.  A little background first.  Pre-ostomy (before 2019) I went through many years of colonic inertia, diagnosed incorrectly as simple chronic constipation.  There were many things I eliminated from my diet, thinking that they contributed to my problem.  Since my ileostomy, I have added back in pretty much everything, and have been proud of the fact that I've been able to eat anything as long as I chew well and keep hydrated.  Well, I found one food item that has me beat, and that's apples, with the skins that is.  I got used to not eating apples and only recently added them back in.  I was surprised to find that the skins really would not break down no matter how much I chewed, and I would end up spitting them out.  I thought it seemed odd as I did not remember apple skins being so tough to chew.  It turns out there is a good reason for that.  They never used to be!  The apple industry in recent years began engineering their crops to produce a tougher thicker skin, in order to reduce damage suffered in transit as most apples travel hundreds of miles from where they are grown before they reach consumers.  So now we all have tough skinned apples.  It ticks me off as the skins are where most of the nutrition lies.  I love apples and will continue to eat them, peeled of course, but I'm not happy about it.  Just progress I guess?!  Has anyone else noticed how tough apple skins are?  Do other ileostomates have to peel their apples?  



Wow, that’s interesting and disappointing! Given this info, have you tried different types of apples? I’ve noticed that Macintosh have a thinner skin to begin with. I can count on half a hand how often I’ve eaten apple skin since my ostomy but it’s always been only Macs. 

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Morning glory

I always peel  my apples  so hadn't  noticed. 


Well.... guess apples arrive at market in better shape.  Plus consumers are picky... apple with ugly/beat up skin won't sell.

I always cut an apple into 4's  then eat all but the skin.  


I hadn't actually noticed this but then, I haven't eaten an unpeeled apple in almost 30 yrs. Apple skin has been a problem for me since getting my ileostomy. I also peel cucumbers for the same reason.🤷‍♀️. 

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

All our fruit, unless it's grown locally or is organic is coated with either wax or a food-grade shellac to keep them looking good in the store.  Otherwise they'd ripen too quickly and spoil.  So the next time you see a nice shiny apple or pear or's been coated.  There's elaborate ways to remove the wax and shellac, but the easiest way is to just peel it.  The destruction of our food supply continues.  Not only do we genetically modify everything to grow faster (and absorb less nutrients from the soil), but to last longer until eaten.  Some day people are going to wake up and realize the rapid rise of disease and poor health perfectly correlates with when we started dicking around with what nature made for us to eat.  Be careful what you put in your's probably not what you think it is......or was.  




Never knew that had my ileostomy over 30 years  I can eat apple skin without any problems I have always been told by nurses and doctors that I have a cast iron stomach lol


Hello Terry.
Thanks for this post.
The pesticides they spray on commercial fruit is basically poisonous, so if and when people purchase these, they should be made aware of the dangers.  
We are fortunate in our area as many growers are into organic and 'heritage' foods.  Or, as the comedians might say : 'The old ones are always the best!"
Isn't there a saying that; "In order to survive in this mercenary world, you've got to have a thick skin!" (or did I just make that up).

Seriously, I have always advocated the growing of apple (and other fruit trees) in hedgerows, so that anyone and any creature can benefit from the fruit without having to purchase it. 
In our area, you can see apple trees (and other fruit) growing in all sorts of places  including roadside verges yet (it seems), very few people stop to harvest them. 
Anyway, thanks for the term 'colonic inertia' as none of my medics have ever mentioned this, yet it seems to sum up my condition perfectly.
Best wishes



I don't eat a lot of apples but I have no issues with them when I do.


Hi, I find that I have to peel and core all apples regardless of the thickness of the skin.

ron in mich

Hi all i guess when we moved into our place 20 some years ago i started pruning 3 apple trees  but we are down to 2 trees now after a severe storm a few years ago wrecked one, but the 2 that are left i,m told by neighbors are around 100yr. old but they still produce a good crop in good years, one is a red jonathan and the other is a golden delicious. We try to use them in all possible ways and invite neighbors and friends to pick and use them.  


At first I avoided all indigestables. Post op booklets say not to eat skins & hard fiber.  Eric the Vegan Osteomate's site was useful.  He has had food obstructions & been to the ER.  I peel all fruits.  Steam the hell out of broccoli & carrot, easy to eat.  Saute spinach.  Legumes plug me up.  Nuts? Love em.  Chew the heck out of them.  Pistachios, then peanuts are the easiest,  Raisens gave me trouble, so I eat currents, instead,  easy to pass.

Reply to eefyjig

Hi eefy,  Macs are my favourite too, and their skins seem to be just as tough as the others I've tried so far, granny smith and spartan. 


Reply to Bill

Hi Bill,  Yes, I've known for a long time that apples and other fruits and veg are sprayed and must be washed well, but engineering for tougher skins seems to be step too far.  Small farms or better yet, backyard trees will be the way to go now.   We have a good friend near us who has a back yard full of fruit trees, and I'm sure I'll be raiding them!  As for the colonic inertia, I'm not surprised you were unfamiliar with it as many doctors here are too.  It took me many years to get an accurate diagnosis, and I found that most would not even consider a surgical solution for 'just constipation'.


Two fingers

Apple in general have always been a ‘no go ‘ for me . I’ve experimented a lot over the last 24 years and still avoid them unless in small quantities and peeled. 

Reply to Axl

Lucky you Axl.  Maybe they aren't messing with your fruit crops down there in Oz.


Past Member

I too can't eat apple skins, so I just peel and enjoy them without the skin.


Hi there-

Interesting about the skins and engineering over the years. 
I’m about 4 months post ileostomy for colon cancer (no chemo or radiation needed). I’ve been trying to add more foods back (can’t seem to add nuts despite my chewing). I tried apples without success until a friend got me this apple corer/slicer. It cuts it into 16 small pieces and I haven’t had any issues since using it! I will say I only eat about half at a time, early in the day. I found this on Amazon


I also hate how they have put oil in the butter to keep it solid at room temp. Now, It is hard to spread on bread....



I always peel my apples and cucumbers - I can't process either one. My dog loves the peels so it's a win-win :)


Luckily apples never gave me issues with my colostomy….i was afraid but just tried it, then ate one with skin every day after that.  organic honeycrisp.  


Good timing on seeingthis article. Haven't had apples since I had ileostomy surgery back in October 2022. Before seeing this post I bought  two of them today, going to take the skins off and eat small pieces and see how it goes.


I see metaphorical images in your post.  The apples are politicians.  You want them to be good, and perhaps they were at one time in their lives, but they have developed exterior personalities that are meant to protect them 'in transit' before 'consumers.'  You have to peel them in order to discover which ones are acceptable, which ones are for munching and which for baking, so to speak.  It's really the 'consumers' who need the protective covering, not the apples/politicians.  

Reply to HenryM

Hi Henry,  Lol!  Only you could find a metaphor in that post, but I like it!  I'm not surprised it's a political metaphor and I can only imagine how you are feeling with the current political climate down in your neck of the woods (meaning the U.S.)  I'm just glad that anything I had to say inspired you to make an appearance back on the site, whether you are 'back', or 'just dropping in for a visit' is fine.  It's great to hear from you again, and I know I speak for many when I say that you have been missed.



Reply to TerryLT

Hello Terry

I simply wish to endorse what you have said!
Best wishes



I've ever noticed any problems with apples.  I eat 'em skin and all.  I bike and hike and apples travel well.

Reply to rlevineia

Fried plantains where I live are common, and I thought they wouldn’t be an issue Because they are similar to bananas, and I don’t have an issue with those. But they were an issue, Taught me I didn’t chew well enough because almost whole chunks would go through me. I’m so surprised I didn’t get a blockage and that the stoma could expand that much. Anyway, I discovered that boiling them is much better when you add salt it’s even much much better for taste and on digestion and helps. thicken output. Also, since reading this thread, I put my apple peeler on the counter. I have a special one that you turn, and it peels the apple. Better for people with poor dexterity like me. ;0)