Drying fruit eliminates moisture, and is the oldest method of preserving food, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Sun-drying fruit was the traditional method used before ovens and dehydrators became widespread. While dried fruits are low-fat and high in fibre and carbohydrates, the recommended serving size is half that of fresh fruit due to the high caloric values of many dried fruits.
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Lack of vitamin C
Most dried fruits are lacking in vitamin C, according to the CDC, because it is lost due to the heat used in the drying process. Some dried fruits are pretreated with citrus juice, so check the label to see whether vitamin C is listed as a nutrient or whether citrus has been added.
According to the California Department of Health, nutritional benefits of dried fruits such as raisins, figs and plums, include iron, potassium, fibre, calcium, vitamins and magnesium. Dried cranberries contain 25 g of total carbohydrates - consisting of 2 g of dietary fibre and 20 g of sugars - in a 25 g (1/4-cup) serving, according to the CDC; 13 g (1/4 cup) of sun-dried tomatoes provides 2 g of protein, 6 per cent of the daily recommended value, or DRV, of iron, 8 per cent of DRV for vitamin C, 12 per cent of sodium, and 2 per cent of vitamin A and calcium.
Fibre helps to maintain digestive health and provides a feeling of satiety, or fullness. While fresh fruit typically contains more fibre than dried fruit, there is still a significant amount of fibre in dried fruits when compared to other common processed snacks. Fibre amounts in dried fruits include 3 g in 25 slices of dried apples, 4 g in a 25 g portion (1/4 cup) of dried blueberries, 1.6 g in a small box of raisins and 2.2 g in 28 g (1 oz) of banana chips.
Because dried fruits are concentrated versions of their fresh counterparts, their caloric values are higher. Apricots in their fresh form provide 51 calories per 100 g, while 100 g of dried apricots result in a caloric intake of 260. Eating smaller portions of dried fruits will provide necessary nutrients without adding excessive calories to your diet. Other caloric values include 90 for a 25 g portion (1/4 cup) of dried cranberries, 35 for sun-dried tomatoes, 130 for 37 g (1/4 cup) of raisins, 110 for dried plums, 147 calories for 28 g of banana chips and 150 calories for a 25 g of dried blueberries.
Dried fruits may contain added ingredients, such as sugar, sodium or saturated fats. Look for labels on the front of the packet that advertise "no added sugar" or "low sodium," and check the list of ingredients to confirm that the dried fruit is prepared in its purest state. Ingredients to be wary of include corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, malt syrup and sucrose.
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