Are dried fruits unhealthy food? Here are six healthier ways to consume them.
There are many types of dried fruits to buy: raisins, dried mangoes, blueberries and figs, dried apricots and many more. Should you include nuts as a fruit in your diet? Or do they just add extra sugar? Let’s take a closer look at this topic and find out how to incorporate dried fruit into your diet in the best way for the body.
Eat a moderate amount of nuts.
Dried fruit is fruit that has been dehydrated to extend its shelf life. This is a very large reduction, and if you’re not careful, you can easily eat too much sugar due to the nuts’ small size and low density.
For example, 45 grams of raisins contain 28 grams of sugar. And although it is a natural fruit sugar, it is worth paying attention to. Small foods such as nuts can easily be consumed in larger quantities “in the machine”. Stop mindlessly eating nuts and be constantly mindful of what you eat. Or try packing them in small containers or bags. Finally, take longer breaks between each serving to enjoy your meal.
Which portion of nuts is too big?
According to the USDA’s dietary guidelines, the average American should eat about two cups of fruit per day. You can measure this amount in a measuring cup to get an idea of what it will look like on a plate. If you have diabetes, discuss optimal serving size with your doctor or nutritionist. The recommended serving of fruit may vary for people with blood sugar fluctuations.
The benefits of dried fruits
In general, dried fruit is not an unhealthy food. Raisins and other dried fruits are a source of fiber, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In addition, raisins are rich in iron. According to studies, the body can absorb more antioxidants from dried fruits (e.g. raisins) than from fresh fruits. These antioxidants can also be good for the heart. If you want to get the most antioxidants, dried goji berries have extremely high levels of antioxidants compared to other dried fruits.
Nuts have many other potential health benefits and can be included in many diets as a nutritious snack or as part of a healthy meal.
Six healthy ways to eat nuts
1. Replace candy with nuts
It’s my favorite way to add color and variety to a kid’s meal! Use dried fruit instead of jam. If you prefer fruit candy, you can replace it with dried fruit. Instead of buying candy at the cinema, get yourself a pack of dried fruit! There are so many different options on the market today that you are sure to find something that suits your taste. Don’t like raisins? Try the dried berry mix or the dried pineapple. Experiment with different varieties and new fruits to find ones that help you limit your sweets and processed sugar intake.
2. Add dried fruit to oatmeal for more antioxidants
It happens that the kitchen lacks fresh berries, which you usually add to the porridge in the morning. In that case, keep a pack of dried berries handy! Nuts serve as a natural sweetener for oatmeal and absorb water when cooked. For the most intense flavor, try Lazy Oats. That means all the ingredients just need to be thrown into a bowl the night before and kept in the fridge. All the ingredients and their flavors mix well overnight. And in the morning simply warm up the dish in the microwave. This method not only improves the flavor but also the texture of the oats.
3. Add Dried Fruits to Your Salad for New Flavors and Nutrition
Tired of the same salads? Sometimes you just need a new ingredient! Try dried cranberries or cherries, chopped dried apricots or dried figs, or even dried blueberries.
4. Energy during training
Do you do endurance training? Or maybe you just need some carbs before, during, or after exercise? Dried fruits are mainly composed of carbohydrates, some of which is fiber. Put dried fruit in your gym bag in case you need a little energy boost. Or throw them in your backpack before going on a long walk.
5. Snack on the trip
Make your own healthy camping mix by tossing your favorite seeds, nuts, dried fruits with dried coconut or dark chocolate! This will make a nutritious snack for travel, and you can avoid buying junk food in stores. Dried fruits don’t need to be refrigerated, so they’re perfect for travel. In addition, they are sold in small packages that you can take on a plane. There are many different dried fruit snacks with added nuts, some of which are in the form of a bar, while others contain dried fruits and nuts separately.
6. Use dried fruits as a snack before the main course
Dried fruits add interesting color or unexpected flavor to traditional snacks. They not only make the dish more nutritious, but also do not require much effort to add to the recipe.
Here are some dried fruit snack ideas:
Add dried fruits to meats.
Stuff larger dried fruits like figs or dried apricots with goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese.
Wrap dried fruit in ham or bacon, then bake lightly or serve cold.
Poke cubes of cheese, dried fruit, and slices of whole grain bread or meat onto a skewer.
Spread cheese spread on whole grain crackers and top with dried fruit.
Bake brie cheese, top with some ham and generously sprinkle with dried fruit. Serve with whole grain crackers or toast.
During the holidays, use dried fruit to garnish your dish. Bright dried fruits will add both beauty when serving a dish and a new interesting taste.
Dry Fruit Buying Tips
Avoid dried fruits with added sugar. If you are sensitive to sulfites, make sure that they are not included in the composition. Sulfites are added to extend shelf life. They are considered generally safe. However, even if they are not added, dried fruits naturally contain sulfites. Therefore, with particularly strong sensitivity, it may be necessary to completely abandon dried fruits.
Look for dried fruits in small or single packs to help control portion sizes.
There are also organic options if you prefer. But you may need to look for them online, as the choice in regular stores is usually quite limited.
In general, if you have any preferences regarding dried fruits, it may be more convenient to find the most suitable option in the online store. Studies show that dried fruits improve the quality of the diet when consumed in moderation. Finally, they add new colors and flavors to dishes, have a high nutritional value and, when carefully selected, will serve as a healthy and convenient snack.