Dried Fruit: Healthy but High in Sugar

Fresh fruit consists of 80 to 90 percent water. If they are processed into dried fruit, a large part of it evaporates and the nutrient content is concentrated: Dried fruit, therefore, contains a comparatively large amount of dietary fiber and valuable minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

High sugar content is typical for dried fruit

However, the loss of water also leads to a concentration of sugar content. For example, 100g of grapes have around 67 calories, but 100g of raisins have 300. The difference is even more extreme with banana chips, which are usually also fried and sweetened: 100g of bananas have around 90 calories, and 100g of banana chips contain 520 calories.

How much dried fruit is still healthy?

Dried fruit is significantly less filling than fresh fruit because it has less volume. Due to the highly concentrated energy content, you shouldn’t eat dried fruit between meals if you want to lose weight, advises Heike Lemberger, a nutritionist at the Institute for Human Movement Sciences at the University of Hamburg. “It’s important to pay attention to the portion sizes,” she also recommends: “Since we tend to eat a lot of sugar these days, you should really keep it to a small amount when it comes to dried fruit.” Dried fruit can also be used as a sweetener, for example in muesli or as a substitute for dessert. And, of course, dried fruit is preferable to industrially produced sweets such as gummy bears or chocolate.

Different drying methods

In addition to the usually dried fruits, there are also soft fruits and freeze-dried fruits available in stores. Soft fruits are dried fruits that have been treated with steam. In this way, they regain a part of their water content. In the case of freeze-dried fruit, water is removed from the fruit in a vacuum in a particularly gentle manner. In this way, the original color is retained. Compared to a conventional drying process, freeze-drying requires a great deal of energy.

Side effects from the addition of sulfur are possible

As antioxidants, many manufacturers rely on the additives sodium metabisulfite or sulfur dioxide – the fruits are sulphurised. As a rule, this is harmless because an endogenous enzyme can break down the substances. However, people who only have a small amount of this enzyme react quite sensitively to the consumption of sulphurized dried fruit. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as asthma attacks and allergic reactions can be the result. The use of sulfur is not permitted in organic products.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top