An American study looked at the consumption of dried fruits. These could be a sign of healthy eating ... but watch out for calories!

Apricots, grapes, apples, dates, dried fruits come in a thousand and one ways. A feast for the taste buds, they would also be good for your health, as reported by a Penn State study. Researchers have found that those who eat dried fruits are generally healthier than others. In addition, this eating habit was also linked to a healthier diet. Indeed, on the days when the participants ate dried fruits, they also ate more of certain nutrients.

On the downside, the study found that total calorie consumption was higher on days when the panel ate dried fruit. “Dried fruit can be a great choice for a nutritious snack, but consumers may want to be sure to choose unsweetened versions with no added sugar. Portion sizes can also be tricky, as a serving of dried fruit is more. small than a serving of fresh fruit since the water was removed. But the positive is that dried fruit can help people potentially consume more fruit because it's portable, it's shelf-stable, and may even be cheaper, "said Valerie Sullivan, postdoctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Penn State student at the time of the study.

Also consider frozen fruit

Through this study, the researchers compared whether dried fruit could be an alternative to fresh fruit: "Minimal processing forms of fruit, including frozen, canned and dried fruit, have certain advantages over fresh fruit" , listed Kristina Petersen, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University and assistant research professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State at the time this work was done. Before adding: "They are available year round, are of relatively consistent quality, and can be stored much longer than fresh. Many are also cheaper per serving than their fresh counterparts."

For the study, the team used data from 25,590 participants in a national health and nutrition survey. Participants provided data on all the foods they had consumed in the previous 24 hours, including dried fruits. Data was also collected on the cardiometabolic health of the panel. After analyzing the data, the researchers found that, on average, people who reported consuming dried fruits ate healthier diets than those who did not. They also tended to have lower body mass index, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure.

Interestingly, the consumption of dried fruits also impacts that of other foods: "What I also found interesting is that people tended to eat more fruits in total on the days when they ate dried fruits than those who eat dried fruits. days they didn't. Dried fruit could therefore be a way to increase overall fruit consumption in people who do not eat the recommended amounts, "the study notes. Dried fruits also increased the amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, and polyunsaturated fats taken in during the day.

"When incorporating dried fruit, watch out for calories and be sure to replace calories from nutrient-poor foods with dried fruit to get the most out of dried fruit consumption," recommends Penny Kris-Etherton, Professor at Evan Pugh University in Nutritional Sciences. In France, the National Nutrition-Health Program (PNNS) reminds us that dried fruits are sweet and should not replace fresh fruits and vegetables to eat every day.