The problems we face losing weight happen because we are confronting deep ingrained ways of thinking about our food. We have to deal with our perceptions on what being on a diet means. For most of us, diet has meant food that is boring and with no flavor. Sugar and fat are scary words and to be avoided at all costs. The truth is losing weight is more about life style choices rather than 100 calorie diets and other torture instruments used in the quest of happiness. Dieting does not have to about forcing bland foods down our throats. Dried fruits are a great example of treats that most of us usually do not consider. Is dried fruit healthy? Are they good for weight loss and other healthy goals?
The truth, dried fruits healthy benefits are many, plus they taste great. They are compact with nutrients and fiber. Having the extra fiber helps with feeling full. Consider the lowly prune. One of the leading suppliers of organic prunes has 3 grams of fiber per serving, plus has a high nutrient density in calcium and other minerals. Our diets tend to lack fiber and this causes a lot of problems with digestion. Dried fruit makes for a great snack and when chosen with certain guidelines in mind can add a little sweetness to goals for that wonderful body.
The healthiest dried fruit is the best known. Raisins find their way into our foods because they are portable and great tasting. Papayas are great for digestion and come in easy to handle spears. Chew a piece of papaya and many can tell you that an upset stomach settles down. Apricots and apples are dried fruits healthy snacks. Granted the Vitamin C often is destroyed in the drying process but the other values of the sweet taste of a dried blue berry can make up for the loss.
Are dried fruits healthy depends on how they are handled and how what else is added to the fruit. The traditional means of drying is laying the fruit out in the sun and slowly drying them. These days most manufactures use drying ovens. This can be a little harsh and destroy a lot more nutrients than the more traditional way. Freeze drying is probably the most efficient. The fruit is flashed frozen and then slowly dried to get the water out of it. The flash freeze is thought to preserve more of the water soluble nutrients and leaves the fruit with a light crunchy taste. Many people are opting to buy their own drying systems and create healthy nutritious snacks on their own. The original cost of the dryer is a little high but quickly becomes cost effective. The fruit comes to the consumer directly without it setting on shelves for unknown periods of time.
Dried fruit healthy benefits can be lessened when sugar is added to make them sweeter. Tart fruits like cranberries are often sweetened to please the consumer’s tastes. The problem is how the sugar can add calories and spike blood sugar. The other problem surfaces when sulfur dioxide is used to preserve the colors of the fruit. Sulfur dioxide is known to cause breathing problems in people who are sensitive to it, like in asthmatics. Read the package labeling and look for fruit juice sweetened products dried without the added sulfur dioxide. The fruit does taste great without any help. Unfortunately most of us have become so use to salted and sugared products, making natural flavors seem alien and nasty to us.
Healthy snacks and meals can be made from dried fruits. Dates mix well with grains, adding a touch of sweetness and a little bit of exotic to a lot of dishes. One snack a lot of sports people use to boost their energy is cutting a dried date in half and stuffing it with almond butter. Eat too many of these and the calories do add up. Fix a couple and they beat that candy bar and soft drink for sustained energy during the late afternoon. Instead of using sugar in oatmeal for breakfast, boil a fourth of a cup of raisins in the water the oat meal will be cooked in. They sweetened the water and add nutrients to the cereal.
Are dried fruits healthy? We have been using them for energy and nutrition for thousands of years. Science is starting to look at how prunes can help with bone health and dried pears are full of antioxidants. The calories can add up if too many are eaten. The additives to make something as natural as fruit to taste better can cause health problems. But, with a little planning and reading the ingredients on the packages, there is dried fruits healthy diet that can make weight loss a lot more fun.
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