Health and Fitness

Study Shows Eating Dried Fruit Has Links to Better Diet and Health

Don't stock up on dried fruit just yet, though.
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Let's get one thing straight: Nothing tops fresh fruit. That doesn't mean, however, that you should think less of its dried counterpart. According to a new study by Pennsylvania State University, eating dried fruit has links to better diet and health. Who knew?

That's right. Dried fruit like raisins, dates, prunes, figs, apricots, peaches, apples, and more hold key nutrients that a lot of people miss on a regular basis. Think nutrients, including fiber, potassium, and several heart-healthy bioactives.

The study used data from 25,590 participants that took part in the the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to come up with the results.

"Dried fruit can be a great choice for a nutritious snack, but consumers might want to be sure they're choosing unsweetened versions without added sugar," researcher Valerie Sullivan said. "Portion sizes can also be tricky, because a serving of dried fruit is smaller than a serving of fresh since the water has been taken out. But the positive is that dried fruit can help people potentially consume more fruit because it's portable, it's shelf-stable, and can even be cheaper."

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Researchers add that dried fruit could be a healthful alternative to fresh fruit. But, don't stock up on dried fruit just yet, though. There are some things you need to know:

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"In our study, people who consumed dried fruits had a higher calorie intake but a lower BMI and waist circumference which suggests they were more physically active," said Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences Penny Kris-Etherton. "So, when incorporating dried fruits, pay attention to calories and be sure to substitute out calories from low-nutrient foods for dried fruits to get the greatest benefit of eating dried fruits."

So, you see dried fruit may be good... but it's not all good. Just remember to pay attention to how much you're eating and avoid consuming more carbohydrates, dietary fiber, potassium, polyunsaturated fat, and overall total calories than you need.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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