Healthiest Dried Fruits

Identifying and Eating the Healthiest Dried Fruits Available for You

Healthiest Dried Fruits

How do you know what are the healthiest dried fruits to eat? According to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most adults in the US consume fewer fruits and veggies than what's recommended by the federal government. The report stated that less than 15% of US citizens meet the recommended fruit intake, and 8.9% met the vegetable recommendations in 2013. With those types of statistics, just about any kind of dried food would be an improvement in the right direction. Even still, there are a few things you may take into consideration when choosing which dried fruits to consume.

Keep in mind that it is important to first distinguish your health goals/priorities, as they differ by each person. We are all on a unique journey when it comes to our food and health; the more we can fine-tune what our own body needs, the easier it is to become clear on what the healthiest food choices will be for each of us personally.

Some of us are looking for ways to lose weight while others are fighting different ailments in the body. You could be seeking ways to gain weight or increase your energy, thus seeking to simply improve the overall nutrition density of your diet. Regardless of your specific goals, there is a way you can bring dried fruits into your diet to help you accomplish them.

These factors will help guide you in identifying and eating the healthiest Dried Fruits available for you.

1. No Added Sweeteners: When picking your best-dried fruit choices, look for the ones that have no added sweeteners. When purchasing any dried fruits that tend to be on the tart side, you may want to be extra cautious for this. See if you can find varieties that get their sweetness from natural fruit juices or contain no added sweetness.

2. Lots of Fiber: Since dried fruits do not have the water content of fresh fruit, they can be a bit less filling and much easier to overeat. When choosing dried fruits with higher levels of fiber, it makes it easier to stick to the recommended serving size. Some great options would be dried figs that have 7 grams of dietary fiber. When compared to the 2 tablespoons from dried apricots or the 2 grams for raisins, you can see the difference it can make. If weight maintenance is at all a priority for you, fiber content becomes even more critical when picking the healthiest dried fruits to add to your diet.

3. Weight Gain and & Energy: If you are an athlete or you are on a mission to gain weight, your healthiest dried fruit options may differ from someone who is trying to lose weight or watch his/her sugar levels. For weight gain and more energy, you want to find dried fruits that are higher in calories per serving. Dried fruits can support a healthy way of weight gain and also serve as a significant calorie source for athletes who need to keep their energy level up high.

The water removal process that fruits go through to become dried fruits increases their nutritional and caloric density. The key is to watch the serving sizes and calorie ratios to make sure that you do not over do it (unless of course your goal is weight gain). When it comes to vitamins, there are some cases such as with vitamin B and C, where the vitamins can become unstable during the drying process, and you may receive slightly diminished amounts of nutritional density.

As with everything and anything, moderation is always key. To much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and it is no different when it comes to dried fruits. It may be a good idea to add a handful of nuts to your dried fruit to support you in portion control. The nuts will help curb food cravings as the food density of the protein and healthy fats will leave you satiated. After all, the sweetness can be seductive to the taste buds, leaving you wanting just a little more. The nuts can help curb food cravings and are always a great combination together. In addition, the nutritional density of this combo will also ensure you have energy and that your body is getting the proper fuel.

About the Author

Lisa Saremi is health and wellness coach for Limitless-U and blogger for Lisa received training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program on dietary theories, practical lifestyle management and innovative coaching methods with top health and wellness experts.

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