Dried Fruit and Fresh Fruit are both healthy nutrient-dense foods, but is there a real difference in nutritional value?
While fresh fruit has long been considered the best choice, dried fruits contain many of the same benefits. As “we eat with our eyes first”, often times we are to more likely to opt for dried fruit as it may appear to have a more sugary taste; thus possessing more flavor. But keep in mind that although a fraction of the size, most fresh fruits and dried fruits pack the same number of calories and sugar content as fresh fruit.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE SIMILARITIES
Although they may vary in size, dried fruit and fresh fruit share many similarities. Both nutrient dense foods that are high in Fiber, great source of antioxidants, and packed with vitamins and minerals. In addition, dried fruit and fresh fruit are make great healthy snacks and share almost the exact amounts of sugar per serving.
SO WHAT MAKES THEM so DIFFERENT?
- Dried fruits have a longer shelf life compared to fresh fruits.
- Contains more calories per serving than fresh fruit.
- Dried fruits have a fewer amount of nutrients and vitamins compared to fresh fruit due to the dehydration process.
- Sulfur which is found in some dried fruits destroys Thiamine or vitamin B1 which is found in most fresh fruits.
- Dried Fruits are made using the dehydrated process, which removes most of the water content.
- Dried fruit tend to have a higher sugar content compared to fresh fruit.
- The vitamin C content is significantly reduced when the fruit is dried.
- Dried fruit usually has a higher fiber content compared to fresh fruit.
- Fresh fruit contains more water than dried fruit, which can help you feel full longer.
- Higher mineral content compared to dried fruit.
- Fresh fruit usually have a higher volume compared to dried fruit and are therefore bigger in size.
INCORPORATING FRUITS INTO YOUR DIET
Fruits in all forms are healthy, nutritious options to incorporate into your diet and should be consumed on a daily basis. Whether you prefer them dried, frozen or fresh eating fruits daily will provide your body with the essential nutrients and minerals its needs to function properly. However dried fruit should be consumed as an addition to your fruit consumption and not a complete replacement. Be
Because of it’s higher sugar and carbohydrate content, dried should be eaten in smaller servings compared to fresh fruit, especially for those who need to be cautious of their total sugar intake. Therefore, a higher concentration of minerals make fresh fruits a more nutritious first choice than dried fruit but not necessarily a healthier one.
ACCORDING TO SCIENCE
Studies have found that in a cup of fresh apples you’ll find 8 milligrams of calcium, 6 milligrams of magnesium and 14 milligrams of phosphorus whereas in 1/4 cup of dried apple there are 3 milligrams of calcium, 3 milligrams of magnesium and 8 milligrams of phosphorus.
Nutritionist have also found that in a cup of fresh apricots there is 86 percent water, with 74 calories, whereas in a cup of dried fruit is 76 percent water, with 212 calories. Fresh apricots have 3.1 grams of fiber versus 6.5 for dried; 0.6 milligrams of iron versus 2.35 milligrams; 15.5 milligrams of vitamin C versus 0.8 milligrams; and 149 retinol activity equivalents of vitamin A versus 160. (source)
KEEP IN MIND
When selecting dried fruit keep in mind that sulfur is often added to preserve color, be sure to read the label and select an option that does not include sulfur.