I’ve been starting to preserve different types of fruits and took an interest in drying fruit.
But, is dried fruit healthier for you and how does it compare to straight-up fresh fruit?
Dried fruit contains many nutrients that are beneficial for your overall health.
Fresh fruit has the most nutrients, and some of the nutrients are lost as the fruit is dried.
However, it is still very good for you to eat dried fruit.
The sweetness of dried fruit and the fact that you can cut it into bite-sized pieces make it a great snack to replace candy.
Certain fruits are superfoods and contain significantly more nutrients than others.
In this article, I will explain what dry fruit is the healthiest, whether you can eat dry fruit every day, as well as other interesting info about how certain dried fruits are made such as prunes.
Which Dry Fruit Is Healthiest?
As far as foods go, there are certain fruits and vegetables that have a disproportionate amount of nutrients.
Examples are spirulina.
So, I wanted to know which dry fruit is the healthiest overall. Here’s what I found:
- Dragon fruit
Apples, bananas, and oranges are widely available year-round.
However, berries and mangoes are seasonal and so tend only to be available in the summer.
After coming to the realization that raisins are in fact dried grapes, I ventured into drying my own fruit using a food dehydrator.
They cost about $50 to $100 and you can make endless dry fruit.
The general process is to wash and cut the fruit into small pieces.
After that, you lay them on drying racks. And then stack them on top of each other.
You then turn it on and let it run usually, overnight.
This is ideal when a seasonal fruit suddenly starts to ripen but you have so much fruit you can’t eat it all. But, it also has a nice texture and delicious taste that makes a great snack food.
Can We Eat Dry Fruits Everyday?
Dry fruits are delicious and seem too good to be true. But, can you eat dry fruits every day or is it bad for you?
It’s perfectly fine to eat dry fruits every day. Dry fruits contain many beneficial nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin C, as well as, fiber.
The recommended amount of fruit or fruit juice you should eat or drink in a day is 4 servings.
The juiciness and flavor of ripe fruit are the best way to eat fruit most of the time.
But, from a practical perspective drying fruit is a no-brainer.
And has the benefit of making the fruit take up less space and therefore, you can store more of it in a smaller space.
Another way of keeping fruit fresh is to freeze it.
However, when you thaw it out it will typically turn to mush.
I wrote about whether you freeze fresh fruit in an article that explains how to freeze fresh fruit as well as recommendations for getting it to last for as long as possible. Read it; can you freeze fruit.
What Fruit Is Dried To Make a Prune?
Prunes are interesting fruit in more ways than one.
Dare I say it, they cause an extremely satisfying amount of gas even when eating only a handful of prunes.
That’s enough to wake up the neighbors.
But how are prunes made and what fruit are they made out of?
Prunes are made from plums.
Plums are nectarine/peach-shaped fruit that is dark purple in color.
It typically has a sour, tangy taste but when perfectly ripe is very delicious.
Prunes are made by drying plums for around 12 hours.
Home-made prunes made using a drying machine are a bit different to prunes you buy in a store.
Homemade prunes fall somewhere in between a plum and a prune you would buy in a store.
They are more juicy and soft than a prune you buy in a store.
Here’s a video that shows how prunes are made that you buy in a store:
What Is the Difference Between Dried Plums and Prunes?
Prunes are made from dried plums, so then what’s the difference between a dried plum and a prune?
In terminology they are the exact same thing.
However, if you make prunes yourself by drying plums they will taste quite different to prunes you buy at a grocery store.
But, it’s similar to asking what the difference is between dried grapes and raisins.
It’s more convenient to say prunes rather than dried plums.
If you make prunes yourself they will have a flat appearance.
The reason is that to dry them in a good amount of time with a home dehydrator the fruit needs to be cut in half.
But, with an industrial-grade oven, the plums are dried whole. Once they’re dried the pip is removed.
Therefore, homemade dried plums have a different texture to store-bought prunes due to the difference in the temperature and the length of drying time.
Do dried fruits make you gain weight?
Some foods are more calorie-dense than others, and if you eat too much of them, it can lead to weight gain.
But, are dried fruits one of those foods, and do they make you gain weight?
As a general rule, dried fruits will not make you gain weight.
There has been a comprehensive study that looked at the effect of a fruit diet on overall health, and after 6 months it was found to have no measurable difference in weight gain.
The major factor involved in weight gain is consuming more calories than you burn.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to create a list of what foods you eat and how many calories are in them.
Then you can see how many calories you eat and after that, you can make changes to your diet based on how many calories are healthy for you to consume.
For a male, it’s typically around 2,500 calories, and for females, it’s around 2,000 calories.
A good rule of thumb is that 100g of any type of food has around 100 calories.
Therefore, 1kg of food has 1000 calories.
So, if you aim to eat around 2 kg of food a day you’ll be in a healthy range.
1 kg of apples is around 5 to 6 apples, and 1 kg of bananas is 7 to 8 bananas.
Then depending on your protein needs, you can substitute other food such as meat or soybeans that have a much higher amount of protein.
I put together a list of the fruits with the highest protein which you may want to consider taking note of for drying.
Especially if you lift weights. Read it [here, link:what fruit had the most protein].
Is dried fruit more nutritious than fresh fruit?
Dried fruit can taste sweeter than fresh fruit.
But, it’s generally believed that cooking fruits and vegetables removes some nutrients.
So, is dried fruit more nutritious than fresh fruit?
Generally, fresh fruit is more nutritious than dried fruit.
As the fruit dries it changes its chemical composition and as a result, some of the nutrients are lost.
Whereas, in fresh fruit, all of the nutrients are left unchanged.
Dried fruit, though, does still retain a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals that are good for your health.
Not to mention, they taste delicious.
Drying is a great way to change the flavor of fruits and vegetables to give them an extra kick or to highlight various flavors.
When you dry fruit you are in essence concentrating the flavor down.
The water content in the fruit essentially waters down the fruit’s flavor, so when you remove the water it has a more flavorful taste.
Dried cherries as another example take on an extra dimension of flavor.
And are great when used as a topping on cakes, or eaten on their own.
Is sugar in dried fruit bad for you?
Sugar is one of those foods that is known to be bad for you in large amounts but is still so delicious that it’s difficult to not eat or drink.
I often wondered whether the sugar in fruits is the same as the standard white sugar you use in coffee and tea.
Overall, the sugar in dried fruit is not bad for you.
The natural sugar in fruit is a mixture of three major types of sugar, glucose, and fructose.
The third type sucralose is a combination of all the other two.
Sugar found in dried fruit has no effect on your health either way.
However, refined sugar, white sugar, or table sugar is made from sucralose only.
And this sucralose is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets.
Due to the refining process, it has caused sugar to react negatively with the body in large amounts.
For example, it’s generally recommended to consume no more than about 30g of refined sugar per day.
Whereas, you can eat virtually unlimited sweet fruits without any need to worry at all.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.