#141 Dried Fruit
People keep asking me what the story is with dried fruit. Good or bad?
Dates for example are the fruit of the date palm.
They have a fabulous nutritional profile. They contain:
- Potassium (58% more than bananas)
- Vitamin B6
- Insoluble fibre
They are often used as a healthier alternative to sugar. In recipes and also commercial bars and frooze balls. Many snacks that have no added sugar are sweetened with date paste or puree.
But be careful we very rarely see them fresh they are nearly always dried which means higher calories and sugars by volume.
100g of dates 3-5 dates depending on size is nearly 300 calories. With 75g carbohydrate 7g fibre and 66g of sugar. If you are one of my students you already know that equates to 16.5 teaspoons of sugar!!
It is easy to eat 10 dried apricots or prunes when you would never eat the same amount of fresh apricots or plums. Dried fruit without the water content has concentrated sugars. These sugars cause a blood glucose spike which will drive you to eat more or to feel hungry again quickly.
1kg of grapes shrivels down to 350g of raisins or sultanas. So you can see that there are a lot of concentrated calories and sugars in dried fruit.
BTW the difference between raisins and sultanas is that sultanas are typically covered in an oil-based solution to speed up the drying process.
For me, I think that the biggest problem with dried fruits is the speed at which the glucose is released into the blood stream. Any food that produces a big glucose spike will stop fat burning in its tracks!
For this reason, if I eat dried fruit I always eat it in moderation and with some nuts. The protein and fat in the nuts help to flatten out the glucose curve and therefore less insulin is produced. Think of insulin as your fat storage hormone.
I once had a client whose weight loss stalled- in fact, she started to gain weight having lost heaps and done so well. I couldn't figure out what was going on, she was doing everything right - until I found out about the dates sitting on her bench. She was popping one into her mouth every time she walked by because they are healthy right? Basically, she was adding an extra meals worth of calories and 20+ teaspoons of sugar to her day... every day!
Some people also react to the sulphites (220) used as a preservative in most dried fruits, especially if you have asthma or get wheezy it is worth being aware of this.
So what is the bottom line?
Avoid commercial snacks and baking that use lots of date puree, paste or other dried fruit.
If you want to include dried fruit in your diet stick to 1-2 dates, a kiddies pack of raisins, 4-5 dried apricots or prunes and have a protein like a small handful of nuts to help the sugars feed out into your bloodstream slowly.
Exciting new coaching opportunities in Pukekohe, Waihi and online coming next month!
Next month in the membership our focus is on shoulders, preventing injuries and building shape, breakfast ideas and a daily step count challenge.
Click the link for more details:
You won't want to miss our next 12-week program opening in October because it will fill up really fast - watch this space for more details soon!
Have a great week!