Fresh fruits are often promoted as a great food that must be included in the diets of healthy adults. But with so much conflicting information currently available regarding food choices, it can be hard to determine which ones are healthy and which should be avoided. In order to pick between fresh and dried fruit, you must evaluate the fiber, sugar, calorie, water, and vitamin and mineral content of each.
One of the most important reasons why people often choose fresh fruits in their diets is due to the high amount of fiber that they provide. Fiber is important not only for weight loss and maintenance, but also for the treatment and prevention of a number of chronic health conditions. When fruits are dried, their fiber content does not, in reality, change. However, if you were to eat ¼ cup of fresh fruit, you would consume less fiber than if you were to eat ¼ cup of dried fruit. This is due to the fact that the dried fruit is concentrated, and therefore you are actually eating more of the dried fruit than of the fresh. However, when masses are compared, dried fruit actually provides more fiber than its fresh counterpart.
Sugar and Calorie Content
In order to determine whether or not dried fruit makes a healthier choice than fresh fruit, it is important to understand how the sugar and calorie contents differ. The fiber content of dried fruit becomes concentrated during dehydration, and therefore is greater than that of fresh fruit. Similarly, the sugar content of dried fruit also increases during dehydration. This can not only be dangerous for people who suffer from metabolic conditions such as diabetes, but can also be detrimental to your weight due to the changes in calorie content of the dried versus fresh fruit.
As the name suggests, dried fruit has been removed of all of its water. This can be dangerous for good health for a number of reasons. Aside from bone and fat, your body is composed almost entirely from water. This means that you require a significant amount of water each day in order to prevent dehydration and to function properly. By eating dried fruit, which contains almost no water, you're not contributing to your daily water intake. This can lead to feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue. In contrast, fresh fruits contain very high amounts of water.
Vitamin and Mineral Content
Fruits are often touted as being important for good health due to their high amount of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals not only help your body to function properly, but can also be effective in the prevention of a number of serious health conditions. As with the other items discussed, dried fruit does not really contain any more vitamins or minerals than fresh fruit. However, since dried fruit is concentrated, you will get more of the vitamins and minerals when eating the same amount of dried versus fresh fruit.