Dried fruit—healthy but extra carbs! (E220), (E228), (E224), (E222), (E223), (E221) doesn’t make them perfect. Choose the darkest one when shopping.

Dried fruits are recommended as a healthy choice. They may be a good substitute to high-sugar processed snacks. Nevertheless, they are still a rich source of sugar, and only limited consumption will be beneficial.

Advantages of dried fruit:

Dried fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Bring it along on trips and journeys, as it can last much longer than fresh fruit. It is also a great substitute for sugar in cakes and pies.

Disadvantages of dried fruit:

Dried fruit contains many more carbohydrates than fresh. The chart below shows the GI and GL of some dried fruit. Anyone on a diet should watch carefully for the serving size. Moreover, many types of dried fruit (such as cranberries, which naturally taste sour) are covered with sugar, which increases sugar intake.

Furthermore, sulfites are commonly used in order to preserve dried fruit and enhance its color. These are sulfur dioxide (E220), potassium bisulfite (E228), potassium metabisulfite (E224), sodium bisulfite (E222), sodium metabisulfite (E223), and sodium sulfite (E221). Unfortunately, sulfites are among the top allergens. They provoke skin allergies and may cause breathing difficulty among people with asthma.

Apart from sulfites, vegetable and sunflower oils are also added to prevent dried fruit from sticking to itself. The oil can become rancid with time and change the smell, taste, and nutritional value of dried fruit.

Dried fruit produced without any preservatives or sugar is often dark in color. Choose it, as it has the highest nutritional value.

Fresh fruit has lots of water, so it’s tough to eat too much, while dried fruit can be excessively consumed. It is hard to stop at a few. Apart from that, fluid helps the fiber digest foods properly. Hence, the best way to eat dried fruit is to wash a few pieces and soak them overnight, then eat with the water they were soaked in.

Fruit Glycemic index GI Serving size in grams Glycemic load GL
Dried apple 29 60 11
Dried apricots 31 60 7
Mixed dried fruit 60 60 24
Dried peach 35 60 8
Dried pear 43 60 12
Prunes, pitted 29 60 10
Raisins 64 60 28
Dates Barhi 50 60 22
Dates Bo ma’an 31 60 14
Dates Khalas 36 60 16
All dates dried and vacuum packed from United Arab Emirates
Source: http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm

GI lower than 55 is considered low, between 56 and 69 – medium and above 70 – high. GL below 10 is considered low, between 11 and 19 – medium and above 20 – high.