When it comes to eating fruit, any kind is better than processed foods. Both dried and fresh fruit contain vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in shelved foods. But with that being said, there’s still an argument brewing over which type of fruit is better – dried or fresh. Let’s take a look at the details and find out.
Sugar and Calorie Content
When it comes to sugar and calorie count, both dried and fresh fruit have about the same amount. The difference here will matter more for people trying to lose weight, and anyone diagnosed with diabetes. Dieters need water and fiber from the fresh fruit to stay fuller longer and to keep hydrated. Dried fruits won’t last as long on your stomach, and you’ll have to eat much more to be content, which can ultimately cause you to intake more calories.
People diagnosed with diabetes need to be careful with dried fruits, as they contain concentrated amounts of sugar. This could easily cause spikes in blood glucose levels. The added fiber in fresh fruits helps decrease the rate at which the sugar reaches the bloodstream.
Vitamins and Minerals
Fresh fruit has slightly more vitamins and minerals than dried fruit. The drying process for fruit decreases its nutritional value, but not by much. Another important thing to keep in mind when comparing the two is that the water in fresh fruit concentrates the nutrients. This gives it a slight edge over its dried counterparts. Vitamin C in particular, is decreased in the dehydration process for dried fruits.
Don’t rule out the dried fruit in this area, though. Many of them pack a powerful punch even though they’re dehydrated. Remember, the difference is slight, so there’s still plenty of nutritional value in the dried versions. Here are a few stats on the nutrient content in some of the more common dried fruits:
- Dried Apricots: a half cup provides over 4 grams of fiber and 156 calories. It’s also packed with vitamin E, potassium, and copper. You can get about 40 percent of your daily vitamin A intake from one serving.
- Dried Pears: a half cup provides over 7 grams of fiber, and 236 calories. They also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and copper.
- Dried Grapes (raisins): a half cup provides 2.5 grams of fiber and 217 calories. Raisins are also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
- Dried Figs: a half cup provides a little over 7 grams of fiber and 185 calories. They’re high in potassium, magnesium and calcium.
So Which is Better?
It’s clear that there’s definitely an advantage to eating fresh fruits:
Fresh fruit keeps you feeling fuller longer; a great benefit for anyone trying to lose weight.
Fresh fruit contains more fiber, which is good for your digestive system.
- Fresh fruit has more vitamins and minerals than dried fruits.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t eat dried fruits because they have their own advantages as well:
- Dried fruits also contain fiber for good digestive health.
- Dried fruits contain vitamins and minerals, and when paired with other nutritional foods, can add to an overall healthy diet.
- Dried fruits are low in fats and rich in good carbohydrates, which can also be helpful for dieters.
Ultimately, whether it’s dried or fresh, if you’re eating fruit, then good for you. Yes, there’s a benefit to eating fresh fruit, but dried fruits are also nutritious. As long as you’re not exclusively eating one type, you can enjoy the benefits of both. Sprinkle some raisins onto your cereal, and then have a fresh, juicy apple with lunch.
It really boils down to what’s best for you (personal preference) and keeping a well-balanced diet. There may be times when it’s more convenient to have dried fruits, and that’s OK too. As long as you’re happy and healthy, you can enjoy both.