Dried fruits are fruits from which most of the water content is removed either naturally (sun drying) or by other means like using specialized dryers and dehydrators.
Some of the most common dried fruits include apricots, dates, figs, peaches, prunes, and raisins. While dried fruits add to your daily nutrition, they must be eaten in small portions. Eating them in large quantities can have adverse effects on the body. Let’s examine a few adverse effects of eating too many dry fruits.
4 Possible Side Effects Of Eating Dried Fruits
1. May Cause Gastrointestinal Problems
Dried fruits are foods that are rich in fiber. For instance, 100 grams of dates contain 7.5 grams of dietary fiber, 100 grams of seedless raisins contain 3.7 grams of fiber, and 100 grams of dried prunes contain 7.1 grams of fiber. These values are quite high.
An optimum amount of fiber is required for normal functioning of the body. Fiber is important for digestive health and can
Too many dried fruits may cause flatulence, bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, and, sometimes, diarrhea. You can avoid these side effects by limiting your portion of dried fruits. Adding a few of them to your cereals can help. If you are not used to fiber, it should be increased gradually.
2. May Increase Weight
Dried fruits are also high in calories. For instance, 100 grams each of dates and raisins contain 300 kilocalories and the same quantity of dried prunes contain 240 kilocalories.
Dried fruits usually don’t fill the stomach quickly; therefore, most often, there is a tendency to overeat them. This can cause you to gain a few extra pounds. Dried fruits can easily be overeaten but it may not be the best thing to do because it can cause unnecessary weight
3. May Increase Blood Sugars
Dried fruits generally have a low to moderate glycemic index. This means that dried fruits will not spike blood sugar levels like other high-glycemic index foods. In addition, dried fruits are rich in fiber and fiber-rich foods generally have a low glycemic index.
Though dried fruits have a low glycemic index, they are rich in fruit sugars that are mostly in the form of fructose. Results of certain animal studies show that a high fructose intake may lead to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.1
However, there are many kinds of sugar-coated dried fruits available in the market today. Most people purchase these because they taste better and look more appealing. Unfortunately, these candied dry fruits can put you at a higher risk of developing heart diseases, obesity, or even cancer.2
4. May Aggravate Asthma And Other Conditions
Some manufacturers add preservatives to the dried fruits called sulfites. These preservatives make them look more appealing and can prevent discoloration. These are most often used in bright colored fruits like apricots and raisins.
Some people are allergic to sulfites, especially those who are prone to asthma, and may experience asthma attacks after eating dried fruits.3 In order to avoid these preservatives, choose dull-colored dry fruits like brown or gray rather than bright-colored dry fruits.
At times, improperly stored dried fruits may be contaminated by fungi.4 This can cause health conditions like allergic reactions and respiratory problems and diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting.5
Apart from these side effects, dried fruits may also cause tooth decay because they are naturally high in sugars (fructose). In addition, dried fruits when ingested have a sticky texture and will stick to the teeth if they are not brushed. In order to protect your teeth from decaying, brush them immediately after having dried fruits.
Therefore, dried fruits are both good and bad for the body. In order to minimize their side effects, cut down the portion of dried fruits you eat and have small portions of them with other nutritious foods.
|↑1||Tappy, Luc, and Kim-Anne Lê. “Metabolic effects of fructose and the worldwide increase in obesity.” Physiological reviews 90, no. 1 (2010): 23-46.|
|↑2||Yang, Quanhe, Zefeng
|↑3||Freedman, Bernard J. “Sulphur dioxide in foods and beverages: its use as a preservative and its effect on asthma.” British journal of diseases of the chest 74 (1980): 128-134.|
|↑4||Tournas, V. H., N. S. Niazi, and J.
|↑5||Sakai, Ayako, Kumiko Kawakami, Kosuke Takatori, and Yukio Saito. “Foods with complaints of fungal contamination and physical problems caused by their ingestion.” Shokuhin eiseigaku zasshi. Journal of the Food Hygienic Society of Japan 45, no. 4 (2004): 201-206.|