Ask Dr. Nandi: Is dried fruit healthy?

Posted at 5:16 PM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 17:17:19-04

Dried fruit appears to be a healthy snack, but some claim it’s just like candy.  

Dried fruit is packed with nutrients. They are a shrunken version of the real thing because most of the water content has been removed. 

So, yes, they are healthy because they contain fiber, micronutrients and antioxidants called phenols. 

A diet rich in phenols and fiber can help lower rates and fight against certain kinds of cancer and heart disease. 

The natural sugar in dried fruit is much more concentrated. If you eat a cup of grapes, you’ll get 23 grams of sugar and 104 calories. 

But if you eat a cup of raisins, you’re now consuming 116 grams of sugar and 520 calories.  A huge difference.

I think people compare it to candy because dried fruit can be coated with added sugar. Which then yes, it might as well be candy.

Dried fruit is a great way to boost nutrients and fiber intake. Here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX

1. Eat dried fruit in small amounts. Especially if you’re watching your sugar and carb intake, or if you’re diabetic.   

2. The US dietary guidelines recommends we eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fresh fruit daily. 
Roughly a half-cup of dried fruit equals one cup of fresh fruit. 

3. Be very mindful when eating dried fruit.  Because it’s so much smaller, it’s very easy to consume more calories than you would with fresh fruit. 

4. I recommend buying organic brands because they don’t contain the preservative “sulfur dioxide.”  This helps to preserve color, but can cause stomach cramps and asthma attacks in people who are sensitive to sulfites.