Many people think that by eating dried fruit, they are actually getting the same health benefits as they would if they ate the fruit raw. If you take a look on the shelves at the grocery store, you may notice they are packed with different mixtures of dried fruits, with maybe some different nuts and grains mixed in.
The packaging for these products claim that they are the “perfect” healthy snack and great for all day energy. What they don’t tell you is that dried fruit isn’t going to give you much more than a quick sugar high that will quickly leave you crashing and craving more of the same thing.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Raw fruit has naturally occurring amounts of fructose that can be healthy when consumed in moderation. However, when fruit is dried, the amount of natural sugar begins to condense. Normally, fruit gets most of its weight from water, however, drying it out will increase the amount of sugar per-hundred gram.
Think about it this way, when you have a cup of grapes, and you compare them to a cup of raisins, there are many more raisins in the cup than grapes. Yet, you’re going to need to consume the entire cup of raisins to get the same full feeling as the grapes provide; thus you are consuming a vast amount more calories and sugar.
The same goes for fruit that has been sitting for quite a long time and become over ripe. Have you ever had a banana when it first becomes ripe? It seems to have the perfect sugar taste and loses that tart flavor that you can get when you try and eat them before they are ripe. However, did you ever have a banana after it begins to darken? The sugar content of that banana has skyrocketed because it has become more concentrated. That’s why it’s also vital to eat fruit when it is in its freshest state.
A good tip? Go for the fruit towards the back of the bin at the grocery store. When the workers are stocking up they put all the newest fruit in the back and leave the older pieces up front. By choosing the ones in the back, you’ll have fruit that hasn’t developed a high sugar content by the time you get around to eating it.
Blood Sugar Gone Wild
Raw fruit, especially fruit that is high in natural sugar should always be consumed in moderation and with a protein. This is especially true for diabetics and those who may be insulin resistant. Some health experts actually claim that high levels of fructose can be as damaging to health as soda. To help avoid significant spikes in blood sugar choose low-fructose fruits such as lemons, cranberries, and avocados.
Dried figs, dried apricots, raisins, grapes and watermelon all contain a great deal of natural fructose that could be a problem for some people. Too much sugar also blocks other vital nutrients from entering the body while packing on the pounds. So, the next time you reach your hand into a bag of dried fruit, think about the fact that a handful has twice the calories of raw fruit. Scale back your portions, or stick to raw fruit with a low fructose content if you are watching your waistline.
– The Alternative Daily