A. All types of fruit - fresh, dried, frozen and juice - are nutritious, having little fat and plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Although dried fruit is a healthy choice, remember that it's fruit in concentrated form so it's easy to over consume.
Once water is removed during drying, the sugars and kilojoules that remain are concentrated into a compact form (a big reason why it's bad news for dieters but a jolly good reason why it's handy for bush walkers).
Fresh green grapes carry around 80 per cent water but when dried into sultanas, this drops to only 16 per cent.
So if you ate a small bunch of grapes, you'd consume the same kilojoules/calories and carbohydrate as just one tablespoon of sultanas. Which is more filling and satisfying?
During drying, don't forget that some of the vitamin C and folate from fresh fruit is lost. But the fibre, minerals and most antioxidants remain unchanged. So this means that dried fruit is not quite as nutritious as fresh - but it's a better choice than lollies or biscuits.
Because of this, nutritionists suggest that only one serve of dried fruit should count towards your fruit target of two serves a day. A serve of dried fruit is approximately:
- 1 tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas OR
- 2 figs, prunes OR
- 4 dried apricots.