Dried Fruit: Good or Bad?

Information about dried fruit is very conflicting.

    Some say it is a nutritious, healthy snack, while others claim it is no better than candy.

WHAT IS DRIED FRUIT?

Dried fruit is fruit that has had almost all of the water content removed through drying methods.

The fruit shrinks during this process, leaving a small, energy-dense dried fruit.

Raisins are the most common type, followed by dates, prunes, figs and apricots.

Other varieties of dried fruit are also available, sometimes in candied form (sugar coated). These include mangoes, pineapples, cranberries, bananas and apples.

Dried fruit can be preserved for much longer than fresh fruit and can be a handy snack, particularly on long trips where refrigeration is not available.

Dried Fruit is Loaded With Micronutrients, Fiber and Antioxidants 

Dried fruit is highly nutritious.

One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package.

By weight, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins and minerals of fresh fruit.

Therefore, one serving can provide a large percentage of the daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, such as folate .

However, there are some exceptions. For example, the vitamin C content is significantly reduced when the fruit is dried.

Dried fruit generally contains a lot of fiber and is a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols .

Raisins May Reduce the Risk of Certain Diseases 

Raisins are dried grapes.

They are packed with fiber, potassium and various health-promoting plant compounds.

Prunes are Natural Laxatives and May Help Fight Diseases

Prunes are dried plums.

They are highly nutritious, being rich in fiber, potassium, beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin K.

They are known for their natural laxative effects.

This is caused by their high content of fiber and a sugar alcohol called sorbitol, which is found naturally in some fruit.

Eating prunes has been shown to help improve stool frequency and consistency. Prunes are considered to be even more effective at relieving constipation than psyllium, which is another common remedy.

Dried Fruit is High in Natural Sugar and Calories 

Fruit tend to contain significant amounts of natural sugars.Because the water has been removed from dried fruit, this concentrates all the sugar and calories in a much smaller package.For this reason, dried fruit is very high in calories and sugar, including both glucose and fructose.below are some examples of the natural sugar content of dried fruit.

Avoid Dried Fruit with Added Sugar (Candied Fruit) .

To make some dried fruit even more sweet and appealing, they are coated with added sugar or syrup before being dried.

Dried fruit with added sugar are also referred to as “candied” fruit.

Added sugar has repeatedly been shown to have harmful effects on health, increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease and even cancer.

To avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar, it is very important to read the ingredients and nutrition information found on the package.

Sulfites are added to some dried fruit to preserve color, which may cause adverse effects in sensitive individuals. Dried fruit that is improperly stored and handled may also be contaminated with fungi and toxins.