Dried fruits are considered to be a delicacy and the reason why they are called dried fruits is because these are fruits that are dehydrated to preserve them and remove moisture. Dehydration helps preserve the nutritional properties, such as fibres, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Most common fruits which undergo the process of drying are apples, pears, apricots, plums and peaches.

Sweet cravings? - Dry fruits will come to your rescue!

They are healthy alternatives to foods containing refined sugars (sweets, candies, jams and fruit preserves). How? It is because they are rich in natural sugar fructose, which provides sweetness. However, certain dry fruits have added fructose or saccharide type of sugar to further enhance the sweetness by coating them. E.g. dried pineapple is usually coated with saccharose, plums are dipped in saccharose solution before drying, etc.

Reasons to consume dried fruits are as follows:-

  • Good for heart health as almonds, walnuts, raisins are effective in controlling cholesterol and blood circulation stimulation, with low sodium content.
  • Dates and raisins are recommended to anemics as dates provide iron with the energy needed to improve energy levels and iron status.
  • Prunes, black raisins are effective in improving constipation with enhanced fibre content and provide with certain important nutrients like potassium, vitamin A and copper.
  • Apricots are great to be consumed as they provide fibre, vitamin A, vitamins C and iron.
  • Cherries offer antioxidants as well as important nutrients such as beta carotene, folic acid and fibre.

Are there any changes when fruits are dried?

  • The energy content of dried fruits doesn’t get altered but concentrated in a smaller volume.
  • The fibre is also not changed.
  • Pre-treatment with ascorbic acid helps elevate vitamin C levels, but certain losses are expected to happen during the drying process.
  • B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin are relatively preserved.

Do they vary in fibre and Glycemic Index (GI)? 

Dried fruits vary in the amount of fibre content profile, i.e. soluble and insoluble e.g. 100 gms of raisins offer more than 3g of total fibres, out of which 70% is insoluble. On the other side, the same amount of prunes offer 8g of total fibre with 50% of insoluble fibre. Both soluble and insoluble fibre offer health benefits in different aspects.









Dried apples


Dried Apricots


Dried peaches


Table 1: Glycemic Index of various dried fruits

The glycemic index expresses the food impact on sugar blood levels, the lower the GI, the gradual would be a rise in blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is of concern for people who are diabetics or have insulin resistance.

The foods are classified as high-carbohydrate (GI>70), moderate-carbohydrate (GI 56-69), or low-carbohydrate (GI0-55). Traditionally, dried fruits are low on glycemic index except for a few like dates, figs. But if these are added to food which is low on GI, then the overall Glycemic Load of the meal is lowered.

Thus, dry fruits help provide nutrients, increase fibre intake and help provide with various health benefits and should be part of the diet.


  • Gyurova et al.(2014).Dried fruits – brief characteristics of their nutritional values. Author's own data for dietary fibers content.Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences 2014; 2(4): 105-109
  • U.S.Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.FoodData Central, 2019.

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