I have struggled with fruit being free when Weight Watchers changed their program. That was no secret (I posted it on my facebook wall) I do support both programs and what works for one person my not work for another. When push comes to shove the bottom line still is calories and 130 calories for 45 grapes adds up...But, Weight Watchers later came out and said everything in moderation. A fellow foodie had gained weight and couldn't understand why. I asked them to email me her tracker and it was loaded with dried fruits....after all isn't fruit free?
It may be surprising for you to learn that there are differences between dried fruits and fresh fruits. Dried fruits or dehydration of fruit takes out the water, but, what does it do to the fruit?
Researchers have discovered that when you dry blueberries, they actually become richer in antioxidants by four times over fresh blueberries. But drying processes can cause nutrients to be lost, and sometimes there will be sugar added as well. So most nutritional experts believe that fresh fruit is better for you, nutritionally.
Dried apricots actually contain more nutritional value than fresh ones simply because the nutrient content is much higher. Dried apricots contain a high level of carotenes, good for lowering the risk of some cancers. This dried fruit also is a good source of vitamin C, silicon, iron, phosphorous, calcium and potassium.
But lets look at the sugar and calories, a cup of grapes, for example, contains about 23 grams of sugar and 104 calories. A cup of raisins, on the other hand, contains 100 grams of sugar and 500 calories. Although the raisins have some fiber and a few vitamins, in terms of sugar and calories, you can easily do as much damage with raisins as you can with jelly beans--especially if your guard is down because you think of raisins as a “healthier” choice.
Just one-half cup of dried fruit equals 1 cup of fresh fruit, and one-quarter cup of dried fruit equals 1 serving of fruit for the day, so it’s important to mind your portion size. The lower water content also means dried fruit doesn’t make you feel as full as fresh fruit.