The Pros and Cons of Dried Fruit Against Fresh Fruit

When it comes to nutrition, there are many quick fixes. That’s what people want after all. They want to believe that there is an easy route to their ultimate goal, that losing weight or eating healthier doesn’t have to be a long and difficult process. That is obviously not the case, but there are a few “quick fixes’ that have some merits, and one of the best ones is dried fruit.

It’s easier, cheaper and it keeps for a long time. But what are the real upsides and downsides of dried fruit compared to the fresh variety?

Pros

Convenience: It’s not convenient to take a bag of grapes, apricots or figs with you on the road or to the gym. Not only are they cumbersome, but they are messy. Dried fruits are easy to carry and you can cram a lot of nutrition into a small bag. They are also great for snacking, so much better than candy.

Nutrition: There is a lot of nutrition in fruit. There is also a lot of sugar, but it’s good sugar and there is a great deal of fiber, vitamins and minerals as well. In some cases, dried fruit is a better way of getting those minerals into your body. Take tomatoes as an example. The lycopene they contain, which can help to keep skin cancer at bay, is more prevalent in sun dried tomatoes than in fresh tomatoes (and yes, tomatoes are a fruit, although we would advise against putting them in a fruit salad).

Longevity: Even the healthiest of people find that they have to throw a lot of fruit out as it tends to go bad quickly. If you’re short on time it’s also difficult to keep buying fruit, as you’d need to do so 2/3 times a week to keep a steady supply. Dried fruit, on the other hand, will be good in your cupboard for months, even years.

Consistency: While we prefer the taste of many fresh fruits, when they’re not perfect, they can be really bad. Bitter oranges, dry peaches, sour grapes, bland cherries — far from a pleasant experience. The consistent flavor of dried fruit is something you can rely upon though.

Cons

Vitamins: Whilst some goodness is amplified in dried fruits, the vitamin content, particular vitamin C, is actually less in dried fruits than in fresh fruits.

Overeat: Fruit is mostly water and if you eat 5 fresh apricots then you’ll fill-up pretty fast. However, 5 dried apricots are nothing and you’ll probably feel the need to keep eating. Whilst fruit is really good for you and is essential in any diet, if you’re looking to pack on muscle or stay trim, it needs to be eaten in moderation. So, limit your intake of dried fruit or eat fresh fruit and let your body tell you when you’re full.

There is one thing that could go either way and was not included, and that is taste. We mentioned the consistency of taste, but some fruits taste better dried than their ripest fresh counterparts. Of course, it’s a matter of opinion, but for me the biggest one is the tomato. I love sun dried tomatoes, but I can take or leave the fresh kind. Dried apricots also beat the fresh variety for me, whilst figs come every close.

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