Dried fruits are a nutritious choice, and they’ve found a special place in the daily diets of many. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, dried fruits offer a convenient and delicious way to boost one’s overall health. They provide energy, aid digestion, and make for a satisfying snack, making them a popular and wholesome addition to everyday meals in India and beyond.
But, should they be consumed on an everyday basis? And if one consumes them every day, what changes can they expect in their health? We reached out to experts to know more.
According to Sushma PS, a dietitian, Jindal Naturecure Institute, “Adding dried fruits to your diet can be a great way to boost your health. They’re packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fibres, and can help boost your immune system, vision, and energy levels. Dried fruits, or ‘brain and heart foods’, are especially good for your heart health”.
She shared that raisins, apricots, and other dried fruits are packed with potassium and fibre, which help keep your blood pressure in check and your heart healthy. “They also help with digestion and bowel movements, which can help keep your gut healthy. Eating dried fruits can also help you lose weight if you do it in moderation. Additionally, they make you feel full, so you don’t have to worry about eating something unhealthy between meals. And because they’re packed with iron and copper, they can help boost your brain and give you a quick energy boost.”
But, there is a caveat! “Do not consume products which have added calories in the form of added sugar and salt. Also, ensure that you are not overeating as they can cause weight gain,” Dr Sri Karan Uddesh Tanugula, consultant general physician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad said.
Agreeing, dietitian Sushma shared that eating dried fruits every day depends on your individual dietary needs and goals. “While dried fruits offer numerous health benefits and can be a nutritious addition to your diet, it’s important to exercise moderation. Dried fruits are calorie-dense and can be high in natural sugars, so consuming them in excess may lead to an overconsumption of calories and potential blood sugar spikes,” she said.
As such, if you are aiming to manage your weight or blood sugar levels, it’s crucial to be mindful of your dried fruit intake. “Additionally, a diverse diet is generally recommended to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients, so consider varying the types of dried fruits you consume to benefit from different nutrients and antioxidants found in various fruits. Individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions may need to avoid dried fruits altogether, and it’s essential to pay attention to your body’s response, as some people may experience digestive discomfort when consuming dried fruits regularly,” the expert added.
Limit your daily intake to about 1/4 cup of dried fruits.
Include dried fruits in your diet to get a wider range of nutrients.
Choose dried fruits with no added sugars to reduce your sugar intake.
Drink plenty of water when eating dried fruits as they can dehydrate quickly.
Dried fruits should be part of a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Check labels to avoid dried fruits that have preservatives such as sulfur dioxide.