Dried fruit loses nutritional value, gains convenience
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intend ed to treat, diagnose or cure.
-By Phylis Canion