Is dried fruit healthy or fattening?

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Is dried fruit healthy or fattening?

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  • Leslie is the National Director of Nutrition at BodyScience Medical

    Many people think that dried fruit is loaded with calories because it’s high in sugar. Neither is true.

    Per serving, most types of dried fruit have no more sugar or calories than the fresh version. And dried fruit is a good source of fibre, iron, potassium and antioxidants.

    Because drying fruit removes its water content, the portion size shrinks by about three-quarters. If you dehydrate one cup of fresh apricots, you’ll get 1/4 cup of dried apricots. (1/4 cup of dried fruit is considered one food-guide serving of fruit.)

    As for calories and sugar, they’re pretty much equivalent. One cup of fresh apricot halves has 74 calories and 14.5 grams of naturally occurring sugar; 1/4 cup of dried apricots halves has 78 calories and 17 g of sugar.

    Of course, if you eat more than one serving (1/4 cup) of dried fruit, the calories will add up. And overeating died fruit is easy to do. It tastes great and it’s less filling than fresh fruit due to the lack of water content. If you’re watching your calorie intake, measure out 1/4 cup of dried fruit before eating. (Don’t eat right out of the package!)

    Some types of dried fruit, like cranberries, are sprayed with sugar before drying, which bumps up the calories. (One cup of fresh cranberries has 4 g of sugar and 46 calories; 1/4 cup of dried sweetened cranberries has 93 calories and 20 g of sugar.) Without added sugar, dried cranberries would taste as tart as fresh cranberries.

    The nutrient content is similar between fresh and dried fruit. The main difference is that the dried version is often lower in vitamin C. That’s because the vitamin deteriorates when exposed to the dry heat necessary for dehydration.

    Still, dried fruit is a much more nutritious snack than junk foods like potato chips, chocolate bars and candy. And its nutrient content certainly beats out refined flour snacks such as crackers, cereal bars and pretzels.

    Some dried fruit – golden raisins and apricots – are treated with sulphur dioxide before they’re dried. This preservative allows dried fruit to retain their original colour instead of darkening during the drying process. However, sulphur dioxide can trigger asthma-like reactions in some people. Organic dried fruit does not contain the chemical; it’s darker in colour and has a slightly different favour, often more like the fresh version.

    Dried fruit is a healthy snack. Enjoy it in a homemade trail mix or eaten on its own.

    Raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped dates, figs and apricots are also delicious added to plan yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain breakfast cereals or homemade muffins and loaves.

    Dried fruit details

    Apricot halves, 1/4 cup: 78 calories, 17 g sugar, 2.4 g fibre, 378 mg potassium, 0.9 mg iron
    Cranberries, sweetened, 1/4 cup: 93 calories, 20 g sugar, 1.7 g fibre, 12 mg potassium, 0.2 mg iron
    Date (medjool), 1 piece (24 g): 66 calories, 16 g sugar, 1.6 g fibre, 167 mg potassium, 0.2 mg iron
    Figs, three pieces: 63 calories, 12 g sugar, 2.4 g fibre, 171 mg potassium, 0.5 mg iron
    Raisins, 1.4 cup, not packed: 108 calories, 21.5 g sugar, 1.3 g fibre, 272 mg potassium, 0.7 mg iron

    I’m not an asthmatic but I have noticed a tightening in my chest if I eat dried apricots and hard to breathe, I didn’t realise the organic ones were much safer, thank you.
    Will look out for them.

    It’s very scary to not know why your chest is caving in on you !!!


    WOW that is scary hope it really helps

    i wonder what other thing cause asthma?

    oops miss that


    oatmeal, whole grain breakfast cereals or homemade muffins and loaves.

    I love dried dates. So sweet! They are a great afternoon snack. They solve that sugar craving and leave you feeling full for longer. Especially if you combine with a few almonds! Obviously on non-fast days!

    I was wondering if dried pineapple is as healthy as say apricots or raisins? I like it and want to eat more but I’m aware of how sugary and sweet it can be. Is it worth it?

    And any opinions on dried apple rings and those rather unattractive yet tasty dried mango slices. These two things don’t seem as sugary as the dried pineapple.



    dates & nuts r good so r figs 2

    as a type2diab only have ir 2x’s a month

    pineapple not @ all

    however if not a one

    Orange/Yellow Group

    (pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)

    These contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps cells in the body communicate and may help prevent heart disease. In addition, a single orange contains 170 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C. It’s interesting to note that the skin of an orange is high in a protective fat that has been found to kill cancer cells in humans and animals, which highlights the fact that two-thirds of all drugs come from the plant world.

    c this

    Eat Your Medicine: Food as Pharmacology

    “(pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)”

    Some of these are highly acidic and should be consumed in moderation.

    I never eat oranges anymore.

    Dried fruit is lovely in your cereal. I put some in my porridge before I cook it, and it’s all lovely and soft. That way I don’t add sugar. Also I make flapjacks with lots of fruit, nuts & seeds for a snack. The sugar is a little high, but I am lowering the sugar when adding fruit, and if you only have a small piece it’s ok.

    I’ve noticed that I am gaining weight by eating dried mangos that are unsweetened and unsulfured…. I’ve replaced snacking with those instead of candy …. But have gained three pounds…. Is it possible to eat too much fruit and GAIN weight ?

    Dried fruit is very high in sugar. Best avoided. Try and stop the snacking too, we don’t need to do it, but the food industry are not going to make lots of money if we stop.

    Have a handful of nuts instead.


    100 grams of dried mango contains more than 300 calories.
    Nuts are a good option but should be limited
    100 grams of almonds contain 578 calories.

    We don’t need to snack but the food industry have done an excellent job in convincing many of us that we’ll faint if we don’t eat every couple of hours.
    The best thing you can do for yourself is to get out of the habit.If you must snack choose something with less calories such as an apple or a carrot.

    I love dried fruit and I eat it regularly but in very small amounts as part of a meal eg in Bircher muesli or home made granola.


    Dried fruit is not good for you. It confuses your body with respect to portion control. Fructose concentration is through the roof. Not good for self control. Have a whole piece of fruit if you want fruit. Same with juice, not good for you. All the fibre has been removed and once again portion control is out the window Might as well eat sugar. Same effect.

    With due respect I have to completely disagree with wiltldnrUSA regarding dried fruit. Dried fruit masks any sense of portion control, the heightened fructose concentration makes portion self control hard, the lack of water content makes satiation difficult. I cant think of one single dietary reason why someone would choose dried fruit over a whole piece of fruit. Not one.


    Dried fruit is not the same as eating sugar, and your comment is misleading. As stated in the first post on this thread, it is a source of fibre, iron, potassium and anti oxidants so it is also misleading to state that it is not good for us to eat.

    You are correct. Dried fruit contains lots of micro nutrients and fibre where as sugar contains none, just fructose and glucose, essentially empty carbs. However I stand by what I said with respect to dried versus whole fruit. Give me one valid nutritional reason why one would choose dried over whole fruit. Convenience is not a valid reason. I stand by what I said with regards to portion control and satiation.

    Well I’m not sure it’s strictly a valid nutritional reason, but it’s a damn good reason to choose dried fruit over raw fruit… Have you tried making Delia Smith’s classic Christmas cake with raw fruit instead of dried?! 🙂

    There is room for everything in a healthy balanced diet, even sugar in moderation! I like dried fruit and nut mix, but it is in the ‘treat’ category with cake, biscuits, chocolate, etc, i.e. something I have on an occasional basis not every day.

    And it’s clearly a healthier treat than biscuits or cakes!

    my point exactly.

    Oh, and not forgetting mincemeat too 🙂


    Don’t get me wrong, of course its OK if you can exercise portion control and eat it as an occasional treat. I have the occasional piece of bread or slice of birthday cake, but Im not foolish enough to think its a healthy option. If most did exercise portion control or chose healthy options most of the time this forum would have very few members. Ok ok I’ll try and lighten up.

    Dried fruit is TERRIBLE for your teeth. Ask any dentist. When my boys were little, their dentist said Chocolate over raisins.

    You dentist recommended chocolate-covered raisins?! I like the sound of him 😀


    Only if it’s 70% cocoa 😉

    Dry fruits are best snacks!
    Dried apricots are a very good source of iron that is useful to fight anemia. .
    Dried apricots contain copper that absorbs iron which helps in hemoglobin production that can be useful for women who experience heavy flow during periods..
    Dried apricots are consumed before a meal to stimulate digestion..

    Kashmiri raisins are rare, but they are delectable! They are grown in Northern regions of Kashmir, particularly in Mirpur.

    Their crinkly look might not look appealing to many, but they are one of the most healthiest snacks around.

    Besides being the chewy, sweet and fruity munch-ons that they are, raisins have tonnes of nutritional benefits about them which make them a health booster like none other! Relish them as they are, or use them in your cakes, pudding and other desserts, their distinct flavor will make you crave for more and more.

    Some Amazing Health Benefits of Raisins: 1. Aids digestion. 2. Keep anemia at bay…
    learn more about dry fruits and its benefits here

    Dried fruit? Really?? You might as well be eating lumps of sugar. If you must eat fruit make sure it is whole fruit and choose the more tart fruits. Not dried, not turned into a smoothie. There is nothing in fruit that can not be obtained from vegetables. All the nutrients without all that fructose.

    Dried fruit is not something that would be in one of my Fast Day menus. That said, everyday I eat one Turkish dried fig, to keep things moving — if you get my drift. One fig.

    I’m a big reader of nutrition labels, and then I am informed as to what options I have. When I see that one oz of anything has 300 calories, I tend to avoid it in future.

    Why are we snacking anyway? 150 years ago no one wandered around looking for a snack between meals: you ate when there was food on the table. True, growing children sneaked extra cookies, but that was it. We have trained ourselves to want a snack, and to think that a snack is OK. Unless you are underweight, you don’t need snacks. Now we are talking about ‘want’ vs ‘need’, but that’s a topic for an entire blog post, isn’t it?

    A pro pos of the dentist’s recommendation about raisins, a few years ago a study by a dental school showed that raisins actually scrape some of the plaque off teeth! Fresh apple slices are the best snack.

    Cranberries are often, and raisins sometimes sprayed with liquid invert syrup (glucose and fructose) to help keep them soft and make them sweeter. This adds to the calories. Does it mean that I never eat dried cranberries? Of course not. I don’t sit down and eat a handfull at a time but I add them to big green salads along with vinegar, oil and herbs. Sometimes I add them to oatmeal. I don’t demonize many foods, I just eat some in moderation. I eat bread, cereals and grains but use the whole grain versions. I include them in my meals almost every day, except not usually on FD. That way I get fiber and their natural nutrients. I may lose weight more slowly, at a rate of only 1-1/2 pounds per week, but it’s been consistent so far and I never feel deprived.

    With you @califdreamer

    That said, I’m avoiding eating fruit regularly after reading the following:

    Resticting myself to eating fruit as a substitute for desserts on NFDs

    @califdreamer. If people could practice eating poorer food selections in moderation they wouldn’t be visiting this website. Given the option of dried fruit and whole fruit. Pick whole fruit. Whole grain is still highly processed. A small quantity of poor foods isn’t that bad. The trouble comes from most people’s inability to just et small portions of poor foods.

    Portion size is the problem I have with dried fruit. We do our own Fuyu persimmons and they are very moorish. Fantastic chopped and mixed through porridge, just need to keep quantity low. That said, I don’t add any sugar or honey or milk, just a handful of frozen raspberries.

    I for one really like dried fruit. It is prefect for sweetening my oatmeal and I find it about the same health effects as whole fruit. I typically use a combination of dried fruit and sliced whole fruit because I like some fruits better fresh. I don’t see dried fruit as just lumps of sugar. I also find it is difficult to overeat on dried fruit as the amounts I want are typically low. In fact the only fruit I’ve ever managed to overeat on is watermelon. I still highly recommend watermelon.

    There are probably some dried fruits where portion control could be an issue, maybe dried mangos, but those would be better eating whole. (Hmmm the mess though …) Personally I mostly avoid died fruit for snacks. However I sometimes eat an apple or other fruit for a snack. I find that dried fruit is best when eaten slowly with other food. At least that is my taste.

    The problems I have with a lump of sugar are twofold. (Like sugar cubes) Neither of these are problems with dried fruit for me.
    1) There is no nutritional value.
    2) I can quickly feel a sugar rush, that simply doesn’t happen with died fruit for me. It has happened to me with ice cream, candy and especially with sweetened drinks which I avoid. (Even fruit juice can cause a sugar rush in me.)

    I realize it isn’t scientific to base likes on not feeling a “sugar rush”, but I have also noticed that dried fruit only has marginal impact on my blood glucose which is easy to measure. It just isn’t something that tends to give up its sugar easily in the body. However that could vary a lot based on a persons state of health.

    There are multiple reasons too why I like having dried fruit:
    1) In Japan is cheap compared to whole fruit. There is a lot of merit in not spending more than I need too. Then I have money to spend on things like pecans and hard sharp aged cheese.
    2) It doesn’t spoil quickly, although it can get dried out.
    3) It is extremely easy to divide down to the size wanted. While that can be done with whole fruit, much fruit is hard to keep long after you cut it.
    4) It can be mixed to provide different tastes.
    5) It is easy to keep and to keep bug free.
    6) It mixes well with other things.
    7) Typically dried fruit isn’t messy.

    My favorites are raisins, prunes and figs. Most other fruit I prefer whole. Oh I love sundried tomatoes too. I would certainly avoid any sweetened dried fruit, that is just shameful in my view.

    Now I’ve stripped most added refined sugar out of diet, unless I opt to have a desert which isn’t everyday. That may be partly why I have room in diet for dried fruit. Frankly I think dried fruit is one of the best foods every conceived of.

    Bigbooty you’ve made me think about confusing portion control and am beginning to realise my biggest problem is snacking on healthy snacks😂

    So it seems that the only negative aspect of dried fruit is for some people it may be easier to overeat. As long as the fruit isn’t candied or maybe salted it is nutritionally the same as fresh fruit.

    In my mind there are a lot of advantages to dried fruit.
    > It is a generally a lot cheaper, for example for what it costs for the amount of grapes I could easily eat in a day, I get enough raisins to last for weeks.
    > It is easier to store and it lasts a long time.
    > It is easier to divide into the amount desired.
    > It works well with cooking.
    > I think dried fruit tastes great.

    What I don’t understand is the claim that fresh fruit is fine but dried fruit is bad. In my mind if one of them is a problem then both are really the same problem. As for the water, one can always drink water.

    They are both a problem, just that one presents potentially more of a problem than the other. If you do not suffer from portion control then the damage can be limited. Its easy to eat 6-10 dried apricots. I would struggle to eat 6-10 fresh apricots. That aside the fructose content in fruits isn’t good for you. Choose fruit with as low a fructose content as possible. You have to weigh up the pros and cons. The fructose content will raise your triglycerides and production of sdLDL (the really bad cholesterol). This increases your chances of cardio vascular disease CVD.

    I change one aspect of my diet and then have my blood lipids taken after six months. The last one I did I increased the amount of fruit I ate from zero to now include some berries and one or two apples per day. My triglycerides went up and so did my LDL. HDL stayed the same. The trigs and LDL are still in the OK range but did rise by about 15-25%.

    Watch some youtube clips by Ken Sikaris a biochemist/pathologist.

    bigbooty, the claim that fruit is a “problem” due to fructose level is a myth that was debunked long ago. The fibre significantly reduces the level of not only blood sugar spike, but also the subsequent fall in blood sugar, which falls way to far (below original level) after consuming refined sugar.

    Yes, portion control has to be exercised, but that applies to every food on the planet.

    It’s irresponsible to tell people to avoid fruit and the essential nutrients and antioxidants they provide.

    I suggest you refer to the likes of Dr Michael Greger for information about the actual large scale studies that have been carried out regarding dried fruit consumption.

    I like small amounts of dried fruit in home made muesli as a tasty replacement for sugar. But too calorific for fast days.

    But a word of caution – vegetable oil is often added to both raisins and sultanas as part of the drying process. In theory veg oil is only supposed to be added to sultanas, I think to stop them sticking together, but when I checked the labels recently I see it added to both types. And I read recently that raisins and sultanas are made from white grapes whereas currants are made from red grapes. But I think that food labelling is very confusing on this point. I personally don’t want unidentified vegetable oil added to my dried fruit!

    I am now looking for red-grape currants, as they are a good source of resveratrol, that have no added oil or sulphur. Any recommendations on where they can be found in the UK would be appreciated! I think I need to be looking for Greek Currants or Black Corinthian Raisins (actually currants – hence the naming confusions!).

    That’s a very good point about vegetable oil Cornish-Jane. Vegetable oil should be avoided where possible and fruit (like all food) should be eaten in whole, unprocessed ways.

    Dried fruits are healthy for every one. But yes it has very high in suger so its better to take it in proper balance.

    When my children were young, their dentist said he’d rather they have chocolate than raisins. Dried fruit sticks to teeth. He saw higher cavity rates among families that pushed dried fruit snacks.

    K-Lo & bigbooty … Sorry but I think you both need better sources of information when it comes to dried fruit.

    I understand bigbooty a bit as he is really into low carb and ketosis. Fruit isn’t good for ketosis. Personally I prefer to keep my ketosis to when I’m doing a multiday fast. I don’t find it a preferred state and find my thinking slightly sluggish while in ketosis. However when fasting I have more time to make up for that.

    K-Lo just teach the kids to brush their teeth. Seriously, dried fruit doesn’t get between the teeth (where cavities often form) like chocolate does, nor does it have the same amount of sugar, unless your kids were into pretty dark chocolate. That kind of statement is pretty lame to come from a dentist. Anyway there are lots of candies that really stick to the teeth.

    I do better with fruit in my diet. However I have started eating more berries even though I was never a berry fan before. I’ve just gotten used to lower sugar levels and seem to be able to enjoy the taste more. I’ve noticed that I’ve cut way back on the dried fruit when I started adding more fresh fruit. It was just a taste thing for me an natural.

    I try to eat 5 to 7 servings of fruit a day when I’m not fasting. It is pretty much my main source of sugar. If I cut back I would probably lose weight faster, but it isn’t just about losing weight, it is about having a good quality of life. The best thing about eating dried fruit is that it is enjoyable. 😉

    Check this out —
    People fed dried fruit on top of their diets didn’t gain weight.

    Also raisins actually reduced tooth decay:

    Wow … go dried fruit!!! 😀

    An update on currants (see earlier post!). For those of you who eat dried fruit, and I know its not for everyone, i found the currants I was looking for. These are made from red grapes (raisins and sultanas come from white grapes), are organic, have no added oils or sulphur dioxide and come from an identified country (greece). Suma organic currants. I’m not connected to them, so not sure where else to find them but i got them at Archie Browns in Truro. They are small and very tasty but be warned a little gritty as I believe they come from seeded grapes. A result for me as just about all dried fruits seem to have something undesirable added – watch out for sugar, vegetable oils and sulphur dioxide!

    Can someone tell me if the fructose from fresh fruit is just as bad for us as that from sugar?
    I tend to snack on fruit in the belief that it is better than snacking on crisps or peanut butter on bread, but after watching the recent ABC program on the evils of sugar am wondering how bad fructose fron fresh fruit actually is.
    Please dont tell me to snack on carrot or celery, as i just cant swallow them!

    @jnette if you go to, they are about the most anti-fructose scientist you can find and they support eating fruit.


    An apple can contain 23 grams of sugar. How can I eat a balanced diet and limit sugar to 25 grams?

    The sugar limits that we use on SugarScience only apply to added sugar – sugar that is added to food during processing, either in a factory, in the kitchen or at the table. Naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables are not included in these tallies for three reasons. First, studies show that eating fruit and vegetables is protective of heart disease (the #1 cause of death worldwide), while the evidence shows that sugary drinks and foods put us at greater risk for heart disease. Second, when sugar occurs in nature, it normally comes packaged with fiber, which slows down our body’s absorption of the sugars and reduces its impact on the pancreas and liver—vital organs that can be affected by sugar overload. By contrast, added sugar is most commonly found in foods with low fiber or no fiber at all, such as beverages. Third, fruits and vegetables carry with them vital nutrients that are beneficial to health. So go ahead — eat your fruit!

    Dry Fruits Never Make Fattening It is Good For Health And Best For Body these Food Like almonds: are Good as For i Know.Its Is raw And Farm Fresh

    Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson is an Australian actress, she is most famous from her weight, Rebel Wilson Lose Weight her weight around 8 pounds after she went on a retreat in the spring of 2016. And had gone on four days of hiking, exercising, massages and eating organic vegetarian food.

    I’ve just read this thread fir the first time and am amazed at the range of opinions, most of which are supported by evidence.

    However, when looking at said evidence, we have to ask who sponsored the research. 😏

    Dried fruit can boost your fiber and nutrient intake and supply your body with large amounts of antioxidants. However, they are also high in sugar and calories, and can cause problems when eaten in excess. For this reason, dried fruit should only be eaten in small amounts, preferably along with other nutritious foods.

    Great Article. As mentioned in the article, the nutrient content remains the same between fresh and dried fruits, though the concentration changes. Nutrients become condensed.
    One concern about dried fruits is the way they are processed. In fact, the concern is not so much the fruit itself as is the process.

    Drying after all is art and science. And experience goes a long way.
    Some people dry fruits but fail to condition them, that is to put the dried fruits in an airtight container for two days or so to see if water forms on the container wall or fruits.

    Or sun-drying is make the fruits susceptible to insects intrusions and dust.

    To avoid these concerns are recommend drying your fruits with great care. If you do not feel confident about drying you can buy them online.

    This post gives you all the information about drying figs but you can apply the technics to other fruits.

    About fattening I should say there is a safe level of consumption. As nuts and dried fruits are loaded with nutrients, overeating (beyond the recommended level) may result in a range of heath problems.

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