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The terms dry fruits and dried fruits seem synonymous, but there is a slight difference between the two. To put it in simple terms nuts are also known as dry fruits. Dry fruits can be further categorized as dehiscent and indehiscent. The former refers to seeds contained in a pod and the latter refers to those that are not found in a seedpod. This includes pistachios, cashew nuts, walnuts and almonds. On the other hand, natural fleshy fruits that have been naturally or synthetically dried are called dried fruits. For example, dehydrated figs, raisins, dried cherries, apricots, etc. are considered dried fruits. Dehydrated apples, bananas, kiwis, etc. are also called dried fruits.
Which is the healthier choice?
Dry fruits and dried fruits both have a number of health benefits.
- Dry fruits are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. However, they also contain a high amount of saturated fats and have a high calorific value. Hence, they should be consumed in moderation.
- Dry fruit consumption should also be limited for people trying to lose weight and those suffering from heart problems.
- To make dry fruits like nuts healthier, you could soak them in water overnight and skin them the next morning before eating them, this helps in reducing the level of saturated fats in them.
- As compared to dry fruits, dried fruits has a much higher sugar level. Thus, their intake should be limited for weight watchers, diabetics, heart patients as well as those suffering from gallstones, high blood pressure and water retention.
- However, dried fruits can be beneficial for anemic patients and athletes. Dried fruits have the same vitamin and minerals as the fresh fruits and the only thing missing is the water content. Dried fruits are also rich in antioxidants and hence help boost immunity.
Tips to buy dry fruits and dried fruits
- With both dry fruits and dried fruits, you must take a look at the ingredients in the case of packaged dry/dried fruits.
- Avoid nuts that have been artificially sweetened, salted or fried.
- Also, do not buy dried fruits that have sugar listed as an ingredient.
- Dried fruits are naturally sweet and artificial sweeteners only add calories without any added nutrition.
- For fruits that tend to be bitter when dried such as cranberries, look for dried cranberries that have been sweetened with 100% natural fruit juice.