Who doesn't love dried fruits? This common product seems pretty straightforward. These are healthy foods, especially in demand in the fall and winter, when fresh fruit is very difficult to find.
They say that dried fruits contain all the useful substances necessary for a person and there are almost more of them in products than in fresh ones. This can be explained, because drying removes water, leaving calories.
Nevertheless, it is worth finally squeezing juices out of dried fruits and finding out the whole truth about them. After all, there are many myths about these food products, which are not at all as simple as it might seem.
Dried fruits are extremely healthy. This myth, unfortunately, is the most important one about dried fruits. You can dry fruits in the sun, this makes them hard, in the shade, as well as by chemical and heat treatment. It is the latter option that is most often offered to consumers. Such a product looks prettier, keeps longer and is uninteresting to pests. Improvement in external properties (color and gloss) is achieved through the abundant use of chemicals. It is worth knowing that properly cooked dried fruits always turn gray and darken. So industrial processing not only deprives the product of valuable properties, but also makes it in some way even harmful.
Dried fruits contain less sugar, which means fewer calories, than fresh fruits. This is the perfect food for those who want to keep their figure. The fact that dried fruits weigh less than fresh fruits does not mean that they have fewer calories. When drying, moisture really disappears. If in fresh fruit it is 90%, then in dried fruit it is only 19%. But sugar with calories does not evaporate anywhere. As a result, dried fruits are much higher in calories than fresh plums and apricots, because the concentration is much higher. For example, a 50-gram apricot contains only 14 calories. The same amount after drying will be in 10 grams of dried fruits.
Dried fruits, like muesli with nuts, can be an excellent substitute for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Healthy eating does not distinguish between good and bad foods. Each of them can take its place in the human diet. It is only worth considering the quantity and combination with other products. For example, dried fruit will look great with oatmeal. However, they should not be considered a full replacement for any other product. Dried fruits should be consumed in moderation, best of all in one meal throughout the day.
Dried fruits are made almost by hand from the best products. Many people think of dried fruit production from a romantic point of view - people collect the most beautiful, delicious and ripe fruits, then they are carefully laid out and dried in gentle sunlight. In fact, the reality is different. The technology of dried fruits was originally invented in order to minimize the loss of fruit products. Far from the best fruits are selected, and multi-day sun drying is no longer used.
There are no chemical additives in dried fruits. In the Russian GOST there are standards for the chemical processing of fruits, because this way you can increase the shelf life and kill bacteria. So, dried apricots and figs are treated with a solution of sulfuric acid, and grapes for the production of raisins are generally soaked in alkali. Naturally, the concentrations of toxic substances are strictly regulated; in theory, these doses are harmless to humans. However, can you trust an unfamiliar manufacturer and its cheap products? The same light raisins acquire their color due not to natural properties, but to sulfur dioxide. After all, naturally dried grapes, even from light varieties, still turn out to be light brown. Manufacturers do not hesitate to add dyes and flavors to dried apricots, raisins, figs. And cheap vegetable oil can be used to add shine.
It is best to make compote from dried fruits. If the dried fruit turns out to be of poor quality, then the damage caused can be great. So, the excess of sulfuric acid, which is in the product with improper drying, will enter our stomach. This is doubly dangerous for children. In addition, traditional recipes for making such compotes recommend adding almost a glass of sugar to the pan. The number of calories in the end will just go off scale!
All dried fruits are produced the same way. There are eco-dried fruits that are both grown in ecologically clean areas and created without the use of chemicals. It's worth looking at the label anyway. Those products that contain chemicals such as sulfur dioxide E220 are certainly not worth taking. Purchasing dried fruits from an unfamiliar manufacturer or by weight can also be dangerous.
In general, it is healthier to eat fresh fruits than dried ones. In fact, you should not give preference to one or another option. The healthiest ones are actually frozen fruits that have been heat-treated a few hours after harvest. Fresh fruits are difficult to consider as absolutely healthy, because it is not entirely clear when exactly they were harvested.
Dried fruits can replace sweets. Nutritionists do sometimes recommend eating dried fruit. We are talking about a salad of dried pears, apples, a small amount of dried apricots and raisins. However, such a mixture cannot be eaten without looking back, because it contains no fat and very little carbohydrates. But separately, raisins, prunes and sweet dried apricots are very high in calories. Indeed, one hundred grams of prunes contains 242 kcal, dried apricots - 234 kcal, and raisins - 262 kcal, then in a candy with fruit filling - 357 kcal, and in chocolate candy generally - 569 kcal. That is why replacing the candy with dried fruit will not affect the figure. But it is worthwhile to understand that excessive eating with dried fruits will just ruin the waist.
It is healthier for the figure to eat dried fruits than bread. By themselves, dried fruits cannot become fat, but they contribute to this process. That is why strawberries with cream or prunes in sour cream will not help weight loss. And complex carbohydrate foods, in which there is little fat (we are talking about bread), belong to the group of non-pyrogenic foods. They just protect against excess weight gain.
Candied and dried fruits are one and the same. This is sometimes the opinion of those who accuse dried fruits of spoiling their figure. In fact, dried fruits, which include prunes, figs, dates, raisins, are sweet in themselves. Their natural sugar is an excellent preservative. The same fruits that are cooked in syrup and then rolled in powdered sugar are called candied fruits. In terms of their nutritional value, they are comparable to jam or candy. You can eat them, but the amount should be strictly dosed.