We love unambiguous answers, but even in the field of nutrition, it’s not always possible to provide them. Dried fruits are a treasury of biologically active ingredients, after all we will find vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and large doses of fiber in them, but there is also another side to this “coin”. Dried fruits, like their fresh version, contain fructose, that is, simple sugar. They are often sweetened, which greatly increases their caloric value and leads to the need to exclude people with insulin resistance and diabetes from the diet. When eaten in large quantities, it can become the proverbial calorie bomb. And while they aren’t “empty calories,” dried fruits can contribute to rapid weight gain. Let’s take a closer look at those with the highest energy value. What are the benefits of including them in your diet?
Dried prunes, along with raisins, are the most common type of dried fruit in Polish cuisine. It should be noted that its caloric value is five times higher than that of fresh peaches (240 kcal / 100 grams of plums versus 45 kcal / 100 grams of fresh fruit).
Plums are rich in a number of nutrients, but their main highlight is their high fiber content. Interestingly, they contain 5 times more than fresh prunes (7.1g versus 1.4g/100g), which is why dried prunes are especially recommended for chronic constipation. It should be used in moderation. A portion of 4-5 prunes contains 3g of fiber and about 100kcal.
Dried dates have a higher caloric value. It must be admitted that living in a temperate climatic area, we rarely have the opportunity to enjoy the taste of fresh. In Arab countries, dates are considered one of the pillars of the daily diet. There they are called “the bread of life,” and this epithet appeared not without reason. Dried dates contain antioxidants in the form of vitamins A and C, a number of B vitamins and many minerals that are essential for life. They contain magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium and manganese, as well as high doses of fiber, which is critical for the course of most life processes (ballast stuff). It is worth diversifying the menu by introducing dates that have a high nutritional value to it, so as not to overeat. After all, there are 280 calories in 100 grams of dried dates!
The dried version of grapes has taken Polish cuisine by storm. Many of us find it difficult to imagine cheesecake or other cake without raisins. We like to add it to desserts or eat it straight from the package when no one is looking for it. Raisins are certainly a better snack than sweets, but you need to remember that they are also a high-calorie delicacy. There are 299 calories in 100 grams. However, these are not empty calories. Raisins contain iodine, which supports the functioning of the thyroid gland, and potassium, which normalizes blood pressure. Moderation is the key to enjoying their flavor.
Certainly the taste of figs, similar to dates, is more often enjoyed in the dried version than in the fresh version. You need to know that these sweet and tempting balls have a great caloric value. 100 grams of dried figs contain 314 calories. Like prunes and dates, dried figs are a treasure trove of fiber. It improves metabolism and helps with constipation problems too due to the tiny seeds that fill the inside of each fig. By irritating the intestinal mucosa, the seeds facilitate the removal of toxins, sediment and unnecessary metabolic products from the body. Figs are a valuable source of B vitamins and three powerful antioxidants in the form of vitamins C, E, and K, and they are rich in many minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.
The top three places on the notorious podium are occupied by record-breaking calories among dried fruits:
1. dried pineapple – 332 kcal / 100g,
2. dried bananas – 330kcal / 100g,
3. Dried mango – 320 kcal / 100g.
All are high in fiber and a rich array of vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits are a better choice than sweet and savory snacks, but when you reach for them, you have to follow the product’s composition label every time. Today, the food market offers high-quality preservative-free dried fruits, as well as those that contain a long list of chemical food additives, and are sometimes sweetened. Dried fruits can be an interesting addition to the menu, but you need to remember in moderation with their tasting qualities.
Also read: Why is it worth eating dried dates?
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