Eating dried fruit linked to better overall diet and health


ENCOURAGING people to eat more dried fruit without added sugar could be an effective way to boost their intake of vital nutrients, researchers have concluded.
Low consumption of fruit in the United States and other countries is a major contributor to diet-related disease and disability, according to arecent analysis.
Fruit is a good source of nutrients, such as fiber and potassium, that many people lack in their diet. It also contains bioactive nutrients that provide extra health benefits, including polyphenols and carotenoids.
Research suggests that eating fruit is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
However, only about 24% of females and 14% of males in the U.S. eat the recommended daily amount of fruit.
Dried fruit offers several advantages over fresh fruit in terms of cost, availability, and ease of storage and transport. It could also replace more unhealthful snack food that is high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
At the same time, however, there are concerns about overconsumption leading to excess calorie intake because dried fruit is such an “energy dense” form of fruit.
Previous observational studies have found that eating dried fruit is associated with health benefits. However, the evidence is inconclusive because people who eat more dried fruit may tend to have a more healthful diet and lifestyle overall.
The new study by researchers at Pennsylvania (Penn) State University in University Park aimed to get around this difficulty by comparing days when particular participants reported eating dried fruit with days when they ate none.
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