Is dried fruit healthy?
The reason is that nutrients and fiber are more concentrated when water is removed from fruit. A serving of dried pineapple has about 18 g of carbohydrates, including 13 g of sugar, 3 g of starch and 2 g of dietary fiber. This provides 6 percent of the daily value for total carbohydrates and 8 percent of the daily value for dietary fiber. Dried fruit is also a rich source of antioxidants and the B vitamin folate as a new healthy food cosumption trend.
One large epidemiological study involving more than 13,000 individuals found that dried fruit eaters have better nutrient intakes — and weigh less — compared with those who don’t consume it.
Highly recommended for sport people, Dried pineapple is chock-full of a protective enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme fights inflammation that affects the tissues and organs of the body. Some research suggests that bromelain may be as effective in reducing swelling as anti-inflammatory medications. Bromelain can aid recovery from sports injuries and after surgery. Enzyme-rich dried pineapple slices are also used as a remedy for indigestion.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the natural sugars in dried fruit are also more concentrated, which isn’t necessarily cause for concern for the general population and may even be helpful for athletes needing quick fuel. But it can be an issue for those carefully watching their sugars, carbs or calories. For example, a cup of grapes has 23 grams of sugar and 104 calories, but a cup of raisins has 116 grams of sugar! And it has 520 calories — five times the amount!
According to US dietary guidelines, which encourage consumption of 1½ to 2 cups of fruit daily, a half-cup of dried fruit counts as one cup.
For diabetics who carefully distribute carbohydrates throughout the day, different rules apply.
“When educating clients, many dietitians and diabetes educators recommend considering 2 tablespoons of dried fruit as one serving (15 grams) of carbohydrates,” said Lori Zanini, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. For example, 2 tablespoons of raisins is equivalent to 15 grams of carbs, but for the same amount of carbs, you can eat half a cup of red grapes, she explained. You could also eat half of a cantaloupe, minus a couple of bites (a half of a small cantaloupe has 18 grams of carbs).