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The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit
Raisins are a good source of potassium, fiber and iron. Photo Credit raisins image by Martin Grice from Fotolia.com

If you're struggling to meet your daily fruit needs, consider including more dried fruit in your diet. A 1/2-cup serving of dried fruit equals 1 cup of fresh fruit. Dried fruit also provides the same nutritional qualities as its fresh fruit counterpart, including similarities in its glycemic index. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that when selecting dried fruit you need to check the label and make sure it has no added sugars. A food's glycemic index indicates how it affects blood sugar. Ideally, you should be choosing foods with a low or medium glycemic index of 69 or less.

Raisins

The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit
Raisins Photo Credit mcfields/iStock/Getty Images

A 1/2 cup serving of unpacked raisins contains 217 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of total fat, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 2.7 grams of fiber, 36 milligrams of calcium, 1.4 grams of iron and 543 milligrams of potassium. Raisins have a glycemic index of 54 to 66, making them a low to medium glycemic index food. Raisins have a higher glycemic index than whole fruit grapes, which has a glycemic index of 43, making it a low glycemic index food.

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Apricots

The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit
Dried apricots in glass bowl Photo Credit tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

A 1/2 cup serving of dried apricots contains 157 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of total fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 4.7 grams of fiber, 36 milligrams of calcium, 1.73 milligrams of iron, 755 milligrams of potassium and 2,343 International Units of vitamin A. Dried apricots have a low glycemic index of 30 to 32. Choosing more low glycemic index foods can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and can help you better manage your weight, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Prunes

The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit
Bowl of prunes Photo Credit HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

A 1/2-cup serving of prunes contains 209 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of total fat, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 6.2 grams of fiber, 37 milligrams of calcium, 0.8 milligrams of iron, 637 milligrams of potassium and 679 International Units of vitamin A. Prunes also have a low glycemic index of 29. In addition to having a low glycemic index, dried fruits like prunes are also high in fiber. Fiber delays food digestion, which also slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Figs

The Nutritional Value and Glycemic Index of Dried Fruit
Fresh figs Photo Credit Matt_Gibson/iStock/Getty Images

A 1/2-cup serving of figs contains 186 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 0.7 grams of total fat, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 7.3 grams of fiber, 121 milligrams of calcium, 1.5 milligrams of iron and 507 milligrams of potassium. Figs have a glycemic index of 61, making them a medium glycemic index food. Figs are a good source of calcium, with a 1/2-cup serving meeting 12 percent of your daily value needs. Calcium is an important mineral for bone health.

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