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Food & Drink

Are dried fruits healthier than fresh fruits?

25 July 2017 - 23:36

Afu

Foodaholic. Travel Buff. Smartphoneographer.

Various types of dried fruits are available now a days, which creates the question of how healthy they actually are and how it differs from fresh fruits.

When the water is extracted from fresh fruits through drying methods, it basically creates dried fruits. During the process, the fruit shrinks in size, resulting in a smaller energy-densed dried fruit.

Dehydration produces a more concentrated result in some nutrients. According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of American College Nutrition, dried fruits such as grapes, cranberries, and plums has antioxidants (especially polyphenols) that are twice as strong as fresh fruits. The polyphenol antioxidants are known to provide health benefits such as increased blood flow, reduced risk of multiple diseases, better digestive health, and more.

The thing to keep in mind before we dive into the pieces of dried fruit is that, although a dried apricot maybe fraction of the size of a fresh apricot, both consists of the same amount of calories and sugar. Thus, we might unknowingly consume more dried fruit to us, it looks smaller in size. Chrissy Wellington, a nutritionist in Lenox Massachusetts said "We eat with our eyes, so we’re likely to consume more pieces of dried fruit than we should."

If we take a look at portion size, then one cup of fresh fruit is regarded as a single portion. However, if we eat one cup of dried fruits, it is a lot more than the recommended amount we must be eating. For instance, have a smaller serving size by opting for a quarter cup of raisins (or other dried fruits). 

Another thing we should remember is that dried fruit is not candy, it is simply a healthy snack alternative of fresh fruits. It is best to avoid dried fruits that are packed with added sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrup, and does not have 'sulfites' - a preservative that maintains colour and has side effects on certain individuals. Always read the ingredients so you will be aware of what has been added to it. Beware and pick out the ones that look either brown or grayish as dried fruit should not resemble the original. 


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