The nutritional facts of dried fruit versus those of fresh fruit remain a largely debated topic. In simple terms, neither of the two provides a better option than the other unless you know the facts behind each.
The fruit drying process differs between each type. In most cases, the meat or sweet part of the fruit gets separated from its seeds, cores or hardened coverings before the drying process begins. Once separated, several fruits receive an additive called sulfur dioxide, which works to eliminate the Vitamin B1 content within the fruit. The chemical also helps with the prevention of discoloration during the drying phase.
You now know that in most cases, dried fruit loses some of its natural nutrient content including Vitamin B1, or thiamine. Many other valuable nutrients get lost during the fruit drying process like Vitamins B and C. The reason fruits lose so much of their nutrients through drying happens due to the loss of water; the Vitamins that have water solubility naturally deplete when the water gets evaporated.
Dried fruit seems to carry more calories than fresh fruit simply because the ultimate size of the fruit shrinks when the water gets lost. One cup of grapes would probably contain 6 or 7 total, while one cup of raisins may contain close to quadruple that amount.
Nutrients of Fresh vs. Dried
Since so many different types of fruits exist, you will find it very difficult to find an exact answer on which form remains the best. This list will show you some of the examples between the contents of fresh fruit versus their dried variations.
- 1 ounce of grapes = about 20 calories 5 grams carbohydrates 0 grams of fiber .5 mcg of iron
- 1 ounce of raisins = about 90 calories 22 grams of carbohydrates 1 gram of fiber 3.1 mcg iron
- 1 ounce of plums = about 15 calories 3 grams of carbohydrates 0 grams of fiber 1 gram of protein
- 1 ounce of prunes = about 70 calories 18 grams of carbohydrates 3 grams of fiber 4 grams of protein
Although this list shows only two examples, you have the ability to see how some beneficial nutrient values increase through the fruit drying process, such as fiber and in some cases protein.
Every fruit acts differently during the drying stage with some fluctuations in nutrient content. Due to the typical nature of most fruits that get dried, matching which type of fruit to consume for dietary purposes becomes easier.
Dried Fruit Benefits
Dried fruits usually contain higher levels of fiber which improves digestion and metabolism. Large amounts of fiber also help you feel less hungry.
If you have a desire to lose weight and want to focus on portion control, dried fruits help tremendously. Hypothetically speaking, eating a small handful of raisins provides you with more of the same nutrients as an apple contains, plus added fiber and some vitamins and minerals. Eating smaller portions will allow your body to digest the food faster while hold less water weight.
Fresh Fruit Benefits
Fresh fruits usually contain fewer calories per serving size than dried fruit counterparts and varieties. Fresh fruits contain natural amounts of vitamins and minerals that often get depleted and eliminated during the drying process.
You have the ability to eat more fresh fruits than dried fruits all while consuming less calories. Several people get carried away and eat too much dried fruits, forgetting the fact that they carry much higher caloric levels.