Fresh fruits are a welcome addition to any diet. But they’re not always practical, especially in colder weather when the grocery-store pickings are slim.
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Registered dietitian Andrea Rumschlag, RD, says dried fruits are a good alternative. “Maybe you’re used to eating grapes when they’re in season,” she says. “A good alternative would be raisins with no sugar added.”
Rumschlag shares some things to keep in mind when substituting dried fruit for fresh:
- Pay attention to your serving size. The nutrient content of fresh fruit versus dried fruit is the same. But you’ll consume more calories with dried fruit because it’s concentrated in sugar. You can buy some dried fruit in single-serving packages, or make your own.
- Watch for added sugar. Many times, manufacturers will add sugar to dried fruit. Look for “no sugar added” on the package.
- Don’t worry about refrigeration. “Dried fruits are more shelf stable than fresh fruits are,” says Rumschlag.
Rumschlag says dried fruits will taste generally the same as their fresh fruit counterparts, or maybe a little sweeter.