Dried vs. Fresh FruitBy: DriedFood.com May 2, 2013 Comments
What’s the Difference Between the Two?
When it comes to including more fruit in your diet, both fresh and dried fruit offer their own benefits. If you’re having trouble deciding what is better for you, take a closer look at dried vs. fresh fruit.
Let’s Consider Dried Fruit First
In its purest form, dried fruit is nothing more than fresh fruit with all the water removed. However, much of what you find available on the grocery store shelves is packed with sugar and fat, which counteracts the reason you want to eat more fruit anyway.
Depending on the drying process, some of the nutritional value may be harmed, however research shows most dried fruits contain double the amount of antioxidants compared to their fresh counterparts. Sulfer dioxide may be added before drying, to protect some of the nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C that would otherwise be destroyed during drying.
The lack of water in the fruits concentrates the calories and sugar content. Because the fruit is smaller in volume since there is no water left in it, but you are left with the calories and sugar found in the full fresh version, you need to monitor your portion size carefully. Less is definitely more in this case, because it will be much sweeter.
One cup of grapes contains approximately 100 calories. When it is dehydrated, it becomes about ¼ cup of raisins. If you eat the same volume of raisins, you are eating the equivalent of four cups of grapes, which will net you about 400 calories!
Dried fruit is good if you are trying to eat a smaller volume of food to re-train your stomach, but you don’t want to risk nutritional deficiency. It is also a great snack when you don’t really have time to sit down and eat, because you can get a full serving of fruit in just a few bites.
What About Fresh Fruit?
Since fresh fruit is mostly made of water, it is typically low in calories. If you are trying to watch your weight, it is very easy to overeat dried fruit, while fresh fruit can help you feel like you’re getting more “bang for your buck” in terms of calories vs. volume of food.
When fresh, fruit does not last long. Even when stored in the proper conditions, either in a bag on the counter or in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, most fresh fruit lasts a week or less. Dried fruits can be stored in a sealed bag for much longer, so it offers a better value, especially if you are not sure when you will use it.
If you are trying to increase your fiber intake to improve your digestive health or help promote weight loss, then dried fruit is the better option. While fresh does contain fiber, the removal of water concentrates the fiber in dried fruit. For example, a serving of fresh apricots contain about three grams of fiber, but the same serving of dried apricots contains about six grams of fiber.
Using a combination of dried and fresh fruits is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrition you need in your diet. It will give you a variety, to help keep you from getting bored with your routine, especially if you are following a weight loss program that tends to restrict your options. Where you may get fewer nutrients because of the drying process, fresh fruits can make up the difference, and where you may lack fiber and antioxidants because of the sheer volume of fresh fruit you’d need to eat to compensate, dried can help.
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