Myths of Dry Fruits

What Are Dried Fruits and Nuts?

Dried fruits are fruits that are dried either naturally, by drying in the sun, or using specialized dryers. They include raisins, dates, figs, apricots, prunes, sweet lime and kiwis. Nuts or tree-nuts are fruits with a hard shell and seeds that are edible. They include almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts and pecans.

Doesn’t Consumption Of Nuts Lead To Weight Gain?

Dried fruits and nuts are concentrated sources of calories. However, only if you consume dried fruits and nuts beyond the recommended intake, would your total calorie intake go beyond your daily requirements. And, that excess consumption of calories may result in weight gain. Similarly, even though nuts have fats in them, consumption in right quantities does not increase blood cholesterol. In fact, as dried fruits and nuts are rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins, their inclusion in our daily diet can help keep blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure under control and prevent obesity. Only when consumption is very high as compared to the recommended intake, would there be a fluctuation in cholesterol levels leading to fattening.

Do Dried Fruits And Nuts Cause Allergies?

Dried fruits are not known to cause allergies. However, a child can be allergic to nuts, including groundnuts, which are actually pulses. However, studies have shown that 20-40% of people who are allergic to groundnuts are also allergic to nuts. Hence, parents with children who have groundnut allergy should be careful when including other nuts in their children’s diet.

Are Dry Fruits Nutritious?

Most experts agree that dry fruits are healthy and nutritious. However, the evil lies in the manner of consumption. Dry fruits are shrunken in size and lack the water content. So, the level of sugar becomes concentrated within the smaller sized dry fruits. Dry fruits bought from stores are often loaded with added sugars, oils and preservatives which increase the risks of high sugar intake and obesity. So, it is best to avoid dry fruits containing oils and added sugars.

Is Dry Fruits Safe to Eat When Pregnant?

Dry fruits are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and amino acids, making them a must for expectant mothers. This makes them safe for consumption during pregnancy but like with everything else, caution needs to be exercised in the amount you consume each day. Dry fruits contain crucial vitamins like B1-B9, C, K, E, and H. They can also satiate hunger easily which can prove helpful when pregnant.

Fresh Fruit Is Better Than Dried Fruit

Both dried and fresh fruit are healthy, nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are those that contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals or other health-promoting compounds with relatively few calories. The main difference between the two options is that taking out the water in dried fruits concentrates both the nutrients and calories. While this may be advantageous if you’re hiking or exercising and want easy, accessible calories, it could be a disadvantage for those trying to lose weight. Sticking with the standard serving size of ¼ cup dried fruit is important to keep in mind to ensure you get the desirable nutrients and avoid overdoing it on the calories.