People who eat dried fruit are generally healthier, study says

dried fruit in a market
Photo: REDA&CO (Getty Images)

A study from Penn State has found that there appears to be a correlation between people who eat dried fruit, and better health in general, Science Daily reports.

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I used to work for a dry ingredients company, and I can attest to the fact that dried fruit contains a ton of nutrition, and also potentially a ton of calories, as the study acknowledges. Dried fruit that’s sweetened can potentially contain a lot of sugar; plain dried fruit just really isn’t that sweet, and for some people can be very unappealing. But if eating three or four unsweetened dried apricots in one sitting isn’t difficult for you, congratulations, you’ve gotten the benefit of the fruit!

One of the main benefits of eating dried fruit is that you get all the fiber intact. Hey, if you’re not a fruit person, you might as well get it quickly, sort of like taking a shot—a shot of nutrition. I’d also better practice what I preach, because this reminds me, I should buy some dried fruit next time I’m at the store and not the frozen pizza rolls that mysteriously made it into my basket. But it seems that the actual fruit is not specifically the cause of better health in the study subjects; the people who consumed dried fruit tended to just have healthier lifestyle habits in general.

Since dried fruit has a lot of calories in it even while unsweetened, researchers found out that on the days the study participants did opt to eat dried fruit, they generally consumed more total calories overall. But at least they got the added benefits of fiber, potassium, and polyunsaturated fat. So if you’re looking to boost some of your nutrition this winter, you might as well buy a bag of mixed dried fruit and have a small handful of it now and then before you grab the chips off the top of your refrigerator.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

DISCUSSION

This is another one of those chicken and egg things. Kinda like the “People Who Have Lots of Sex Are Generally Healthier.” article having the same general facts and studies as the “Healthier People Have More Sex.” Article. It’s likely a simple correlation with an unknown number of factors rather than a cause and effect situation. I could postulate that people who live a more healthy lifestyle (and are healthier as a result) may seek out natural snacks like dried fruits rather than munching on candy and junk food. But the dried fruits aren’t really doing anything to MAKE them healthier.