Monday, May 11, 2015

Dried Fruits That Aren’t As Healthy As You Think

Dried Fruits That Aren’t As Healthy As You Think
On the surface, fruit, whether fresh or dried, is good for you. And it is, most of the time. In its natural state, dried fruit is a nutrition-dense snack that can help stave off hunger in a healthy way.

Even though apples contain lots of delicious natural sugar on their own, store-bought dried apples often have unnecessary added sugar. Avoid this by making them yourself: Use a mandolin for crispy apple chips or slice a bit thicker for chewy apple rings. Then pop them into the oven or dehydrator to dry them out.

Apricots are often preserved with sulfur dioxide to keep them plump and maintain their orange color. Dried apricots should be slightly brown; look for packages that only have one ingredient (apricots!).

Many brands add sugar to make tart dried cherries a bit more palatable. Check the back of the package to make sure you know what you’re eating.

Coconut contains heart-healthy saturated fats that can actually help you manage bad cholesterol. Although unsweetened coconut is healthy, it’s high in calories, so make sure to manage portion control.

Cranberries are a true superfood, and can even promote healthy teeth. The addition of lots of sugar to make dried cranberries less tart negates a lot of the benefits.

Sun-dried or preservative-free figs are perfect for snacking, but be aware that dried fruits are denser in calories than their fresh counterparts.

Buy unsulfured, unsweetened dried peaches, which are sweet enough to snack on without the added sugar.

Pineapple contains lots of natural sugars; when dried, the sugars are concentrated. Some brands add extra sugar to this already-sweet treat.

Raisins are often preserved with sulfur dioxide. Those with sulfite allergies should only purchase additive-free raisins.

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