Dried fruit only contains higher calories and sugar content when you compare the item to fresh fruit. This happens simply because the size of the fruit shrinks due to a near complete loss of moisture.
You often find information or hear talks regarding the high sugar and calorie content found in dried fruit. However, one serving size of dried fruit often provides equal or more vitamins and minerals, plus equal or less calories than a serving of fresh fruit.
The major misunderstanding remains in the serving size. One cup of raisins would yield far more calories and sugars than one cup of grapes simply because the cup has the ability to hold many smaller, more compact raisins. If you ate one slice of pineapple, then one slice of dried pineapple, you would essentially intake the same exact amount of calories, carbohydrates and sugars.
During the drying process, fruit loses its water content, leaving only vitamins, minerals and other nutritional content inside of the edible piece. In many cases, a chemical additive gets added to the fruit in order to maintain freshness, color and some vitamin content. Through this process, some fruits actually lose vitamins and minerals.
Many brands that sell dried fruit do sweeten the snack by adding sugars like high fructose corn syrup. If the dried fruit does not receive an extra dose of sugar, you will consume only fructose, the sugar naturally found in all fruits. By adding sucrose or alternative sweeteners, calories and the sugary carbohydrate content will increase.
Most store bought dried fruit will print nutritional labels on packages to notify you about nutritional content and value. Also found on the label, the serving size shows exactly how much fruit ought to get consumed. The over consumption of dried fruit will ultimately lead to weight gain since all fruits, dried or not, contain moderate to high levels of sugars and calories.
All of the sugar that you consume either gets metabolized for energy use, or stored as fat. Over consuming any type of sugar, including fructose, usually causes insulin resistance, further leading to obesity.
Warnings and Ideas
- Due to the small size of dried fruits, people often think that eating large handfuls at a time will not cause any sort of negative effect. Individuals generally mistake dried fruit as a snack food because of its small size; however, you have to remember that the size of dried fruit happens due to the lack of moisture content.
- Since the moisture or water content in dried fruit gets almost completely evaporated, only sugar content plus the naturally occurring nutrients remain in each piece. Think about dried fruit as a way of getting more by eating less.
- Dried fruits often contain higher levels of fiber and some vitamins than their fresh fruit counterparts. The dried versions serve as a healthy snack when eaten in moderation and according to the labeled serving sizes.
- Eating dried fruits will help you feel less bloated or heavy because you actually consume less water with each serving. Fresh fruits often give you an extra fullness sensation due to its water content.