Grass Roots Nutrition: Dried Fruit

Grass Roots Nutrition: Dried Fruit

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Dear Holly: Is dried fruit healthy, or is it just loaded with sugar? -Raisinette


Dear Raisinette:
Both fresh fruit and dried fruit contain sugar as well as many nutritional benefits, from vitamins and minerals, to fiber and phytochemicals. Most of all? Fruits are mainly water.


If you dry fresh fruit, you are removing most of the water and therefore most of the total mass. This makes a proper portion of dried fruit significantly smaller than most people would guess. I recommend about ¼ cup of dried fruit at a time. 1 cup of fresh grapes has about 100 calories. If you dry those grapes, you would end up with about ¼ cup of raisins.


Some dried fruits are also sweetened, making them a less-healthy choice. Dried cranberries are typically sweetened, as are cherries. Raisins are not usually sweetened. Unsweetened dried fruit is the healthiest choice. If you read the nutrition facts panel, you will see sugar. How do you know if the sugar is naturally occurring or added? Check the ingredients. If there is a sweetener listed there, sugar has been added.


For Oxford readers – check out MOON co-op’s excellent selection of bulk dried fruits. From apple rings, to pineapple, figs and mango, to apricots and raisins, there is a wide variety of options, most of which are unsweetened. Purchasing in bulk allows you to buy exactly what you want and not more!


For any snack, I like to pair at least two foods groups. Dried fruit is great for our on-the-go culture and pack easily in a purse or pocket. I like to pair dried fruit with nuts or seeds. Almonds and raisins are my favorite combo!


Fruit is an important part of a balanced, healthy diet. For most meals, a balance of fruits and vegetables should be the biggest thing on our plate. Fruits are not healthier or less healthy than vegetables, they simply provide different nutrients, but usually more calories.


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What’s your question for Holly? Send them to For more information and to make an appointment to work on your goals, visit Grass Roots Nutrition, LLC and BrideBod, owned by me, Holly Larson, a Registered Dietitian. Visit me online at and follow us on Facebook. Have a delicious, healthy day!