Is Dried Fruit Good For You?

Almost everyone loves fruit, but what about dried fruit? Is dried fruit good for you, and is dried fruit even more healthy than fresh fruit? These are questions that you may be asking yourself. After all, dried fruit is easy to take along in the car, to work, or to school, so it the nutrition of dried fruit vs. fresh fruit was the same or better, you would include it in your diet right?

Dried fruit is simply fruit that is dried to eliminate much of the water content. By doing this, the fruit will keep for quite a long time as opposed to fresh fruit which has a shelf life of a few days to a few weeks and often needs to be refrigerated. Popular dried fruits include common things like raisins, dates, or prunes, but nearly any fruit can be found in a dried form if you shop around. Because dried fruit will keep for a long time, you can buy it out of season or in large quantities to keep the cost down.

Not all dried fruits are created equally however. There are a few ways to dry fruits that you need to be aware of. Some fruits are dried naturally. Most raisins, dates, and prunes as well as tree fruits like apples, apricots, peaches, and pears are dried in this manner. Some fruits have sugar added in the drying process to enhance the taste. These would commonly include blueberries, cherries, cranberries, and mangoes. Because of this, it’s important to check the label to be sure you are not eating added sugar that you don’t really want.

Now for the good news. Fruits that are dried naturally possess almost identical nutrition as the fresh variety, retaining important vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants in the drying process. This means that you can get your daily servings of fruit in a smaller package that is portable and lasts a long time, without risking the fruit juice dripping on your favorite shirt. Dried fruits are a great way to get vitamins and fiber into your diet.

Watch out for dried fruits with added sugar, although some dried fruits with added sugar do contain additional benefits like fiber and antioxidants. Just consume them in moderation to avoid eating too much refined sugar. Fruit, even dried, has enough sugar naturally to be a tasty snack.

Dried fruit is very easy to add to your diet and is one of the nutritious snacks to keep on hand. Keep a few varieties in your home at all times. Along with natural unsalted almonds or peanuts, dried fruits make a great snack mix. Dried fruit is delicious when added to cereal or oatmeal. You can add it to a salad, bake dried fruit in muffins or bread, or even sneak it into baked dishes. You will find no shortage of ideas in adding these delicious fruits to your diet.

Remember, dried fruit will keep for several weeks, making it easy to buy in larger quantities and get out of season. Some fruit is dried naturally while other fruit has sugar added, so you need to check the label. Other than the potential of added sugar, dried fruit has nearly identical nutrition as fresh fruit, and dried fruit is easy to add to your diet by adding to cereal, oatmeal, a salad, or eating alone as a snack. So, is dried fruit good for you? If you choose wisely, it’s a fine snack choice.

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