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Why is There So Much Sugar in Dried Fruit?

Fitday Editor

If you enjoy eating dried fruit then you might already realise that it has lots of sugar. It seems to have more sugar than regular fruit. This sugar might be added to certain fruits but it might also be naturally occurring. It's important for you to learn about the different types of dried fruits available so that you can make the right decisions.

Added Sugar

Dried fruit sometimes has added sugar. This is the case with sour or tart fruits including cranberries. This added sugar is not as good for you as naturally occurring sugars because it is highly refined. This means that this sugar will be rapidly absorbed by your body and cause a sugar high. This isn't particularly good because it will release in a sharp increase in energy for a short period of time.

You should avoid any dried fruit which has added sugar because this will make it much less healthy to eat. This added sugar makes certain fruits much more palatable. However the added sugar also adds calories which can make them more fattening.

Natural Sugar

All fruits contain natural sugars, these are either fructose or glucose. These naturally occurring sugars are much better for you than highly refined sugar. These sugars can still cause tooth decay but as long as teeth are cleaned properly are otherwise fairly good for you.

The natural sugars in the fruits will be concentrated when the fruit is dried. This is because most of the weight and volume in fruit is normally made up of water. Drying out will reduce the water which will increase the amount of sugar per hundred grams. Raisins are a prime example. A cup full of raisins contains much more sugar than a cup full of grapes. However none of this sugar is added. It's simply because more raisins can fit in the cup because they are smaller.

Identifying Types of Sugars

Naturally occurring sugars are fine to eat as you would normally be eating these anyway when biting into the fresh fruit. You must however avoid eating dried fruits which have added sugars. It's fairly easy to identify which dried fruits are healthy and which ones you shouldn't eat.

The nutritional information will list the sugar content but this will always be naturally occurring sugars unless it is entered as added sugar. To make sure you are buying fruit which is healthy check that the ingredients don't list any added sugars. Although this fruit with added sugar has the same benefits as other fruits it's not as good because of the high levels of sugar.

Balanced Diet

Dried fruit is a good way to get some of the fruit and vegetables that you need on a daily basis. However, it's important that your fruit and vegetables come from mixed sources. Snacking only on banana chips for example wont have as many benefits as eating a wide range of different fruits and vegetables. Dried fruit is nice but it's certainly no replacement for fresh fruit.

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