nutrition

Is dried fruit good for you? pros and cons

If you have a sweet tooth or need snacks that are easy to pack when on the go, nuts (like raisins, apricots and plums, for example) are probably ideal for you. Is dried fruit good for health? The truth is, depending on how they are made, nuts can be a good addition to your diet in small quantities or a so-called “health food” that you should never consume.

Here’s the good news: A cross-sectional analysis from the 2020 National Health and Nutrition Survey found that adults who included dehydrated fruit in their diets had “better diet quality and higher intake.” The results of the analysis showed that participants’ intake of fiber, potassium, and polyunsaturated fat was higher on days they ate dehydrated fruit than on days they didn’t, although they also consumed more calories.

What is a dried fruit?

Dried fruit is another name for dehydrated fruit, i.e. fruit from which the water has been removed. The result is a less bulky, sweeter product that keeps longer and does not deteriorate easily. Does dried fruit count in your daily fruit requirement? Yes, assuming you pick the right types.
A little over 1/3 cup serving of dried fruit equals one cup serving of fresh fruit. In other words, 1/3 cup of raisins can provide a similar amount of nutrients to an average apple.

What are the healthiest nuts?

Assuming you choose varieties with no added sugar or oil, the healthiest nuts are:

– All kinds / colors of raisins
– apricots
– plums
– Figs
– at your place
– Dried berries including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, goji, etc.
– Cherries
– Blueberries
– Mango
– Apple rings
– Slices of pineapple
– Orange slices
– Banana chips

Which nuts have the lowest sugar content?

Above all, always choose fruit that is not made with added sugars or other sweeteners (such as fructose, sucrose, syrups, juices, etc.). Among the less sweet fruits are goji, blackberries, raisins, apricots and plums.

Comparison with fresh fruit

Compared to fresh fruit, is dried fruit bad for your health?

The main difference between dried fruit and fresh fruit is that dehydrated fruit has a lower volume, which means it is less filling and easier to eat. If you eat an equal serving of both types of fruit, i.e. a half-cup serving, you will consume significantly more calories and sugar from dried fruit than from fresh fruit.

Is fresh fruit more nutritious?

Most likely. This is because some mild antioxidants and other beneficial compounds found in fruit can be destroyed if overheated or stored for too long.
However, studies show that dried fruit contains antioxidants, including dried berries and cherries, for example, as well as nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamins E, C and A, etc.

Benefits of dried fruit

1. High in fiber

Meeting your daily fiber requirement is easy when you consume concentrated sources of fiber, including nuts. Each small serving of nuts will provide you with four to five grams of fiber, or nearly 20% of your daily requirement. Fiber plays many important roles, including helping to support intestinal and digestive functions, reduce constipation, control appetite, and even maintain healthy cholesterol levels. For example, a 2019 randomized controlled trial found that adults who struggled with infrequent bowel movements (constipation) and low fiber intake saw significantly increased weight and stool frequency when they added prunes to their daily diet. for four weeks. High-fiber diets are also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other common health problems.

2. A good source of antioxidants and nutrients

Many dried fruits are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, just like their fresh counterparts, including anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, catechins and polyphenols.
This partly explains why data from a 2020 systematic review suggests that “increased consumption of raisins and other nuts may be important in preventing digestive cancers. People who ate three to five or more servings of nuts per week had between 24% and 65% less risk of developing certain types of cancer. Also, figs, prunes, dried berries, raisins, etc. they are rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, etc. These essential nutrients are associated with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against bone loss, helping with muscle and nerve function, and more. Apricots are rich in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A and vitamin E, both of which contribute to normal vision and eye health, as well as heart and arterial function. Mango, strawberries and dried blueberries all contain vitamin C, which helps support the immune system and skin health.

3. Can be used to naturally sweeten recipes

Adding raisins or dried cherries and berries to granola, baked goods, yogurt, or oats can help reduce the need for added sugar. Dried fruit adds natural sweetness to many recipes, including salads and roasted vegetables, enhancing their flavor without adding “empty calories”.

4. Portable and shelf stable

The dehydrated fruits have been deprived of water and moisture, which prevents them from spoiling easily and makes them a very convenient snack to take on the go. You can take them to the gym to snack before a workout, put them in your kids’ canteen at school, or take them with you when you travel to avoid unhealthy snacking.

Disadvantages (risks and side effects)

When shopping for nuts in grocery stores or online, look for 100% natural products with no added sugar, oil, or sulfur dioxide (E220), which is added as a preservative.
Sulfur dioxide / sulfites help maintain the color and appearance of fruits, but this additive can contribute to negative reactions in some people, including allergies. Always read the ingredient label to be sure you choose brands that don’t use chemicals or additives.

As previously mentioned, another potential drawback of dehydrated fruit is their relatively high calorie and sugar content relative to volume, meaning it’s important to stick to a small serving size (except if you’re trying to gain weight). Studies suggest that while dried fruit may add nutrients to people’s diets, it does not appear to replace other calories on the days it is eaten, meaning excessive consumption should be avoided. You should also continue to eat fresh fruit if possible, and not exclusively dried fruit, as research shows that fresh fruit may have even more benefits for weight control and heart health.

How to consume them

Nuts alone aren’t very filling, so it’s best to combine them with a source of healthy protein and fat. For example, you can make a homemade dried fruit mix with nuts, seeds and raisins, or plain yogurt or unsweetened oats with chopped figs, cranberries or dried berries, etc.
Overall, for best results, try pairing any fruit (dehydrated or fresh) with foods high in protein and fat to make them more satisfying and help control blood sugar.

* Presse Santé is committed to transmitting medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of the doctor.

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