Nutrition and Labeling - Dried fruit - Too much sugar?




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melodymist
08-19-2011, 03:24 AM
How healthy is dried fruit really? I read in a magazine that 1 cup of dried fruit can contain almost 11 teaspoons of sugar? Wow :?: I've been eating it a few times and was jus wondering if someone can help me with this.

Thank you.


kaplods
08-19-2011, 03:52 AM
Fresh fruit is better, because the water helps fill you up. Some dried fruits have added sugar, and even those that don't, get pretty concentrated when they're dried.

It helps to envision how much fresh fruit it takes to make the dried fruit. Dried fruit shrinks tremendously (if you dehydrate watermelon, for example, it shrinks down to almost nothing). 1/2 cup of raisins doesn't seem like a lot until you realize it probably takes several cups of grapes to make that handful of raisins. Would you eat two or three large bunches of grapes?

If you're carb-sensitive, you may find that dried fruits trigger hunger and cravings.

I look at dried fruits, pretty much as somewhat healthier candy. Ultimately still candy, though - so if you can't have candy in the house without overeating it, you may find that you react to dried fruit the same way (I certainly do).

I do buy dried fruit sometimes, but I try to buy and eat it in very small amounts.

melodymist
08-19-2011, 06:58 AM
Thank you Kaplods, this helped alot. I don't know why I didn't think of the fruit shrinking, haha my bad. Thanks for the advice :)


tdiprincess
08-19-2011, 02:34 PM
But, it still is a healthy food to be eaten in moderation, like most things.
I will generally have a serving with nuts. Generally the fruits are still packed with some decent nutrients, such as dried unsulphered apricots are a decent source of potassium.
I know its nice to add them to salads and trail mixes for a nice sweet taste. Plus, since it is so sweet, you don't need much. I don't know if I could eat 1/2 a cup of raisins in one sitting. I might eat a dried date here and a couple dried cranberries there, but not generally a huge serving in one sitting. Dried dates can be sickeningly sweet, but are a decent source of fiber and potassium as well.

But, in most things, moderation is the key. Plus, some cultures make their dried fruit into a salty snack since they preserve it with salt.

melodymist
08-20-2011, 05:04 AM
Yes. Here we get them in trail mixes. I actually bought small packages of those to serve as n snack.

MeganTheMushroom
08-20-2011, 11:11 AM
I love dried fruit. It's rich in iron and other nutrients. The sugar is fructose, so it's not bad for you :)
I like raisins on salads, dried apricots (unsulfurized) as snacks, and dates to sweeten things. Soo yummy!

Fresh fruit is better though. The water in fresh fruit helps clean your teeth from the sugar, so you won't get cavities. Dried fruits stick to your teeth, so it's important to brush.

PhatBeth
09-12-2011, 09:26 AM
Fresh fruit and vegetables provide us with bulk, energy, minerals and vitamins. Bulk is provided by the indigestible fiber and energy is provided by the carbohydrates and protein. Neither bulk nor energy is lost in the drying process. During blanching, a small portion of the vitamin C may be lost by leaching. The amount varies depending on the care taken in blanching. To keep leaching to a minimum, blanch only as long as required. Do not under-blanch, however, because then the food's enzymes will still be active, reducing the quality. Pretreating light-colored fruits helps protect against loss of vitamins A and C.
Dried fruits will lack some of this essential components and be of great harm to you.

lunameower
09-18-2011, 01:59 AM
I know that certain dried fruits contain way more sugar than others, like dried pineapple, I know that one is way sugary, but like others said, it's all about moderation. I prefer to use raisins because I always end up throwing away any grapes I don't buy because I don't eat them in time, but I try to have fresh fruit whenever I can.

kaplods
09-18-2011, 02:10 AM
I also usually can't eat a whole bunch of grapes before they spoil, so I keep a couple portions to eat fresh, and freeze the rest.

Sometimes if I'm craving cherry popsicles, I'll toss rinsed and still wet green grapes with sugar free cherry flavored jello (straight from the box - about half a package for a large bag of grapes), and then freeze them in a ziploc freezer bag.

saef
09-18-2011, 08:10 AM
I don't eat dried fruit straight up, out of hand -- I find that dangerous, as I can drop into that overly fast, hand-to-mouth behavior that reminds me of a binge -- but I do keep it around for cooking and baking.

From the Atlantic Spice company, a big warehouse that sells spices from Truro, in Cape Cod, Mass., I found dried cranberries that are unsweetened. (They also do mail order & online orders.) They cost more than the readily available Craisins & their ilk, but since I use them pretty sparingly, I'm okay with that.

I like adding dried apricots or prunes, snipped up into pieces, into chicken dishes. These went on sale a lot where I used to live around the time of the Jewish holidays, so I always kept them on hand.

I add raisins or cranberries (the unsweetened kind I've already described) to whole-grain baked goods.

I also add raisins to a vegetarian cashew chili that I make , toward the end while it's still simmering, to add a bit of sweetness, and also to a curried vegetable dish.

I'm trying for a slight hit of sweetness in the flavor profile, but without resorting to sugar, and to help me with cutting down on my use of Splenda, which I love but am trying to be a bit less dependent on. Raisins can add just that sweetness to a cooked dish with a lot of other elements in it.

(I should mention my way of eating, while far lower in carbs than it once was, is still less carb-averse than that of many members here, and probably works for me because of my high habitual levels of daily exercise.)

LAgreeneyes
01-10-2012, 04:03 PM
You could always get a dehydrator and dry your fruit that way.

sirius93
01-10-2012, 04:28 PM
no doubt they are full of vitamins but all fruit has sugar, just the "better" kind of sugar, in Japan they cut out fruit all together from diets because we can get those vitamins from a multi vitamin pill :)
but fruit like apples are good, just dont indulge and too many sweet fruits

QuilterInVA
01-17-2012, 12:52 PM
Dried fruit has natural sugar that becomes concentrated in the drying. Dehydrating your own would still do this.