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Dried fruit loses nutritional value, gains convenience

Posted by: admin at 11:18 am on November 28th, 2015

  • dried fruit

I would like to have your thoughts on eating  dried fruits.

Is there any advantage?  What are the health ben efits – if any?

Dried fruits, or dehydrated fruits, have both pros and cons.  First, let me begin with the cons and the nutrition values of dried fruits.

Most dried fruit contain thirty to eighty percent less nutrients of its counterpart, fresh fruit, accord ing to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Dried fruits go under a series of processes before  packaging, dependent on the variety of fruit being dehydrated.

Most dried fruits are pre treated to keep their color and then dipped or blanched in a variety of substances such as ascorbic acid, pectin or other juices. Then they are  placed either in the sun or an oven for drying.

Depending on the specific type of drying process, sulfur dioxide, a common additive, is added, which preserves vitamin A and C, however, it destroys thiamine.

Most dried fruits also  contain sulfites, unless you select an  organic variety. Asthmatics must be  careful of  consuming  dried fruit  due to their  sensitivity to  sulfites ac cording to University of California, Berkeley Well ness.

I recommend eating very little dried fruit because of the sugar content and the ease in which you can consume too many calories and sugar too quickly.

Most are satisfied with  eating an apple or apricot, but quite often, find them selves easily eating the en tire bag of dried fruit. Portion size of dried fruits makes it easy to overdo.

It takes an excess of 3,500  calories in your diet to gain a pound according to Mayo  Clinic.

Consuming an extra 250  calories per day from dried  fruit could contribute to as  much as 2 pounds of  weight gain in a one-month  time frame. An easy scale  to remember in comparison of dried fruit to fresh fruit: One-fourth of a cup of  dried fruit equals one cup of fresh fruit.

The pros of eating dried  fruit. according to The  Academy of Nutrition and  Dietetics, include that they  are considered a nutrient-dense food and are high in fiber, potassium,  iron, antioxidants and contain little fat.

Dried fruits also have a  longer shelf life, and their convenience and portability are great.

And for a final note to re member, according to the  Food and Drug Administration, the caloric content  of fruit that has been dehydrated is about twice that of the fresh version.

Thought for the week: Do not let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big!

Next free nutrition class  is at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at Organic Emporium.

Phylis B. Canion is a  doctor of naturopathic  medicine and is a cer tified nutritional con sultant; email her at  docphylis@gmail.com.  This column is for nutritional information  only and is not intend ed  to treat, diagnose  or cure.


-By Phylis Canion