It’s time to add dried fruit to your diet! New research has shown that eating them may be connected with better health.
Researchers from Penn State University found that people who ate dried fruit, such as raisins and dates, were generally healthier than those who did not, and on days when people ate dried fruit they consumed more of certain key nutrients than on days when they skipped them.
The research team set out to examine whether dried fruit could be a healthful alternative to fresh, as they are cheaper and have a longer shelf life, and they analysed data on diet and health from 25,590 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They found that on average, people who reported consuming dried fruit in the survey had healthier diets than those who did not, and they also were more likely to have lower body mass index, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure.
“What I also found interesting was that people tended to eat more total fruit on the days they ate dried fruit than on days they didn’t,” researcher Valerie Sullivan said. “On days when dried fruit was not eaten, however, fresh fruit intake was not higher. So dried fruit could be a way to boost overall fruit intake in people that aren’t eating the recommended amounts.”
They also discovered that on days they ate dried fruit, participants consumed more total carbohydrates, dietary fibre, potassium, polyunsaturated fat, and overall total calories.
“In our study, people who consumed dried fruits had a higher calorie intake but a lower BMI and waist circumference which suggests they were more physically active,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences. “So, when incorporating dried fruits, pay attention to calories and be sure to substitute out calories from low-nutrient foods for dried fruits to get the greatest benefit of eating dried fruits.”
Courtesy: Cover Media