The Surprising Truth About Dehydrated Fruits and Sugar
But, wait a sec! Don't experts agree that dehydrated fruits are sugar bombs in disguise? Well, yes, but the truth goes way beyond a sugar laden nutrition label. If you want to know what's up with this misunderstood food, here's what research has to say.
A New (Sugary) Perspective
When it comes to sugar, dehydrated fruits are nothing like their fresh counterparts – at least, that's what we hear. The only problem with this claim? We've been approaching the matter from a short-sighted perspective all along.
You see, one cup of raisins(1) contains about 100 grams of sugar while the same amount of fresh grapes(2) clocks in just 23.4 grams of the sweet stuff. But, even though the numbers are self-explanatory, comparing dehydrated and fresh fruits based on volume alone is flat-out wrong. Why? Simply because the dried version is smaller in size.
So, to avoid confusion and making false accusations, we should instead compare the two kinds using a subjective and accurate unit of measurement, a.k.a. analyzing them piece by piece. This method actually shows that the calories and sugar in fresh and dehydrated fruits are, more or less, the same, proving that both versions are equally healthy.
Small Size, Big Appetite
As the name suggests, dehydrated fruits contain zero water. So, as they get stripped off of their juices, they end up shrinking in size, sometimes even up to 75%. Take figs, for example. These plump, juicy fruits shrivel to the point of no return when they are placed in a dehydrator or left out in the sun.
Unfortunately, by turning into the bite-sized snacks, we know and love, dehydrated fruits are very easy to overeat. So, more often than not, we end up eating more than we should in one sitting. That means that the calories pile up and our sugar intake reaches new heights.
Added Sugar Is The Enemy
Unfortunately, natural sugar is not the only type of sugar that's present in store bought dried fruits. Most brands tend to include lots of added sugar to the mix (see: artificial sweeteners, fruit juices, etc.) in an attempt to sweeten the deal and make the products more appetizing. That occurs because certain fruits, such as cranberries, are actually kind of bitter and tart once dehydrated.
However, adding sugar to these fruits turns them into A-list calorie bombs, which is why many people think dried fruits should be avoided at all costs. But, keeping these snackable treats away from your pantry is not the solution. Instead, you should look out for a brand that steers clear of sugary additives and preservatives with Mother Earth Products being a bright example.
Antioxidant, Fiber and Micronutrients to The Rescue
Another reason to keep dehydrated fruits in your weekly (if not daily) menu is the abundant nutrients. You see, despite their unique size-to-sugar ratio, dried fruits don't spike sugar levels as much as other go-to snacks (think, candy or chips). That instantly makes them a healthier snacking option.
But, besides that, research(3) proves that these treats contain significant amounts of antioxidants, helping your body deal with oxidative stress and a variety of metabolic diseases. They are also packed with other nutrients(4) including fiber, calcium, and vitamin A, C and K. FYI, all of these nutrients play a huge role in healthy weight management, helping you shed the extra pounds and keep fat buildup at bay.
Long Shelf Life
Unlike their fresh counterparts, dried fruits come with a long shelf life, serving as an excellent choice οn occasions where fresh produce is not an option. So, whether you are a regular hiker or a weekend camper, these all-weather snacks are the best way to provide your body with enough energy to complete your tasks.
In terms of risk and reward, dehydrated fruits can be readily described as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of snacking. While they come with some major benefits including weight management, portability, and long shelf life, they may also cause quite a mess to your health through the added sugar and overeating.
To avoid such scenarios, make sure you consume just enough to keep your sweet tooth satisfied and always trust brands that support the no-added-sugar philosophy. PS: If you don't know where to start, Mother Earth Products is the way to go. Thanks to our no additive attitude and family friendly approach, we can provide you with high quality dehydrated fruits all year round. #BuildingHealthyHabits