Is dried fruit actually good for you?

Dried fruit might not be as healthy as you thought.
Dried fruit might not be as healthy as you thought.

Dried fruit is the snack du jour – delish, portable and (mostly) healthy. But this sweet treat can be less sunny than it looks. Take note with these tips and tricks from WH advisory board member Keri Glassman.

Dried fruit comes with a lot of fibre… and kilojoules

Like fresh fruit, the dehydrated kind has vitamins that are antioxidants (yay!). But because of the lack of moisture, its contents are much more concentrated. That includes fibre, which, though good for you, can cause cramps and bloat, especially if you don’t typically eat a lot of it.

It also has more sugar, and thus more kilojoules. Even unsweetened fruit (which we recommend) has sugars that aren’t always easy to digest in big amounts. Making matters worse? Sulphites (a common preservative) can cause diarrhoea and headaches in some. Look for sulphite-free.

…But it’s so handy

Done right, noshing on these sweeties can help you avoid less nutritious snacking. If you love chips, try baked or freeze-dried fruit for a nice crunch. Craving gummies? Shop for soft varieties. And PS, a spiced flavour, like chilli-dusted mango, makes it harder to down a whole bag at once.

Eat it the right way

1. Drink water. Fibre helps you poop, but if you’re dehydrated it will also soak up whatever fluid you’ve got left. The result? Constipation. Sipping as you eat can help.

2. Re-portion. Use individual plastic bags or containers to divide fruit into trackable smart servings. That’s two pieces for bigger fruits (apricots, mango and pear slices) – less than the package might tell you! – and two tablespoons for smaller bites (cranberries).

3. Add protein. When you pair your snack with a protein or fat source, like nuts or Greek yoghurt, it becomes more filling, so you’re less likely to go overboard on sugar.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

Image credit: iStock

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