Looking for a sweet, healthy snack? A new report says dried fruits offer the same benefits as fresh fruits.
A report by internationally recognized researchers at the 30th World Nut & Dried Fruit Congress on May 21 concluded that traditional dried fruits such as dried apricots, dried apples, dates, dried figs, raisins and prunes should be included side by side with fresh fruit recommendations by policy makers around the world.
“Dried fruits are great sources of total and soluble fiber in the diet,” said Dr. Daniel D. Gallaher of the University of Minnesota, one of the presenting researchers. “Just as fresh fruit, they have low glycemic index values and can play an important role in preventing different aspects of metabolic diseases.”
The report addressed concerns that dried fruits contain more concentrated amounts of sugar than fresh. Consumers should pay attention to portion sizes when eating dried fruits, as it’s easy to overdo it.
Dr. Arianna Carughi, Health and Nutrition Research Coordinator for the California Dried Fruit Coalition, said that in addition to their fiber benefits, dried fruits are a great source of potassium. Dried fruits also contain a range of specific vitamins and minerals, unique to each fruit.
Dried fruits are also an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth, according to Michael Cutler, M.D., editor of Easy Health Options. He says to add dried fruit to your food for a healthy sugar substitute.