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Lately I've been snacking a lot on dried fruit, especially dried cranberries and dried pineapple. Some people tell me that it's really healthy and other people tell me to avoid... So, what you think?? I'm trying to lose weight, so should I find something better to snack on?? And how many calories are actually in a cup of dried cranberries- CC ranges them anywhere from 300 calories to 600 calories per cup, I buy them fresh at the market... I'd love to hear what you think..
As for the calorie content, it really depends, since lots of dried fruits are infused with extra sugar prior to drying.
If you eat the unsweetened ones, they're still very high in sugar, since the water is removed and the fruit becomes a lot smaller, all the sugar remains in the fruit. They, are, however, a nutritious snack, so I would recommend it, but in small portions (both due to their high calorie content and the amount of sugar).
what would you suggest as a portion for a snack??
I like dried fruit but I limit it to a 15g serving.. I usually have one a day (eg raisins in my cerela) - I might have two if I am out and about.
I prefer urban fruit as they dont add sugar - a lot of companies use extra sugars or juices (or even palm oil) in the drying process.
A serving size of dried fruit is usually 1 oz or about 2 tablespoons.
Here's nutritional facts for dried cranberries
They are healthy as part of a good diet but you do have to be careful on how much you eat of any dried fruit or nuts because they are naturally very high in calories and dried fruit is especially loaded with sugar (sometimes even more sugar is added in the drying process).
A cupful is rather a lot. You might do better to have a smaller portion of dried fruit and eat fresh fruit instead. The water/juice present in fresh fruit will help you to feel more full with less calories.
Unless you are underweight and should be gaining... in which case eat away!
Have you thought about dried apricots?? Very high potassium.. and sweet. Of course they are pretty dense calorie-wise.. but it's easy to count the pices,, which are conveniently bite size...
It is almost impossible to find dried cranberries that haven't been sweetened because they are naturally tart. Hidden sugar.
Another caution: I know that fiber is a good thing, but be very careful with dried fruits. I once snacked on a bag throughout the work day, and suddenly while on the drive home from work it hit me. Barely had time to pull over and get to a bathroom.