Healthy Snacks – Dried Fruits All Year Round
Dried fruits are healthy, a tasty treat that can be substituted for fresh fruits. But be careful when eating these sweets especially if you’re watching your diet.
Nutrients from Dried Fruits
Every summer, we are blessed with an abundant supply of fresh produce. But during winter when fruits are no longer in season, dried fruits are our alternative source of fruits.
Dried fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, just like the nutrients that fresh fruits offer. But because of the dehydration process the fruits undergo, they become more calorie-dense. The sugars naturally present in the fruit become concentrated. In addition, some processors add more sugar during the production of dried fruits.
Eat with Moderation
So, when eating dried fruits, such as raisins and dried apricots, you must watch the serving size. It’s advisable to eat a single serving at a time, which is about 1/4 cup. Eating just a little can already make your blood sugar levels shoot up. Looking for the “no sugar added” label on the pack is a good thing if you’re watching your calories.
If you eat 5 to 6 pitted dates, you consume about 32 grams of sugar already. If you’re on a diet and you knew that pitted dates contain so much calories just by looking at the package, you probably won’t buy it off the shelf. But the fact is that dried fruits are still a healthy alternative snack if taken in moderation.
Dried fruits are available in the market all year round. What’s additionally advantageous is their long shelf-life. Even if you don’t refrigerate them, they don’t spoil easily. They’re very travel-friendly.
You can enjoy eating dried fruits as a snack or dessert any time you want. Just remember to watch the portion size to avoid getting excess sugar and calories.
Photo credits: By André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons