Dried fruits -- fruit with a moisture content of less than 20 percent -- retain all the nutrients of fresh fruit, but contain more sugar and calories per ounce. However, dried fruits don't have to torpedo your weight-control strategy; they are diet-friendly if eaten in moderation. Use nutrient-rich dried fruits to jazz up salads, add color and texture to breakfast cereal, or as a convenient snack.
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According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 1 and 1/2-oz box of seedless raisins contains 129 calories, 1.32 g of protein, 34.05 g of carbohydrates, 1.6 g of fiber, and 25.45 g of total sugars. National Raisin Company points out that the sugars in raisins are largely fructose, which can provide a quick energy boost. In addition, raisins' healthy amounts of fiber can help to create a feeling of fullness. Raisins are rich in minerals -- including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium -- and are particularly high in iron, containing .81 mg in a 1 and 1/2 ounce serving. Iron helps to maintain the delivery of oxygen throughout the body. Raisins also provide healthy amounts of B-complex vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B-6. Low in fat, cholesterol-free, and packed with vitamins and minerals, raisins are a healthy dietary choice.
The USDA lists one medium-sized pitted prune as containing a modest 23 calories, .21 g of protein, only .04 g. of fat, 6.07 g of carbohydrates, a healthy .7 g of fiber, and 3.62 g of sugars. Prunes are a rich source of potassium; according to the USDA, a single prune contains 70 mg of this important mineral, necessary for controlling blood pressure. The same prune also contains 74 IU of vitamin A -- vital for healthy immune function and good vision -- as well as modest amounts of B-complex vitamins. Prunes -- technically dried plums -- contain more beneficial antioxidants than any other fruit, offering twice the amount found in blueberries. Prunes can cause diarrhea if consumed in excess.
One cup of dried apricot halves contains 157 calories, 2.2 g of protein, .33 g of fat, 40.72 g of carbohydrates, 4.7 g of dietary fibers, and 34.74 g of sugars. Although dried apricots are a good source of minerals, it is in providing vitamins that they really shine. One cup yields a whopping 2343 IU of vitamin A, along with an additional 1406 mcg of beta carotene, a phytonutrient that can be converted to vitamin A in your body. Niacin -- important in lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy digestive system -- is also well represented in dried apricots, with a cup offering up 1.683 mg of this B-complex vitamin. If you are sensitive to the sulfites used to preserve apricots' bright orange color, you should choose an organic brand.
According to the USDA, one dried fig -- about 8 g -- contains 21 calories, .28 g of protein, 5.37 g of carbohydrates, .08 g of fat, and 4.03 g of sugars. Like all dried fruit, figs are a good source of dietary fiber, and are low-salt, low-fat and cholesterol-free. Diet Health Club credits figs with promoting weight loss, and says that the calcium they contain -- 14 mg in one fig -- can help prevent thinning bones. In addition, figs are rich in pectin, a type of fiber that can reduce levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Although they are not a significant source of vitamins, dried figs contain substantial amounts of iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Like prunes, figs have a laxative effect; and eating too many may cause diarrhea.