Recently, I talked about my love affair with the delicious fresh Barhi dates I received from The Date People in California. I swear, they really taste like caramel!
Since then, I’ve been asked a few times about dried fruits like dates and if they should be eaten on a healthy raw food diet. I figured now would be the perfect time to answer this question.
Should You Eat Dried Fruit?
Obviously, I eat and enjoy dates, but I also really like raisins and dried berries. I will sometimes eat raisins in the evening for a quick snack if I find myself still hungry after dinner.
However, I am careful to eat these foods sparingly.
That’s because once a food is dried, it is no longer whole. Most, if not all, of the water has been removed, as well as vital nutrients along with that water.
And if you want to be completely accurate, these foods are not truly raw. To be “raw” is to be totally unprocessed and whole, and these foods have clearly been refined.
But that’s beside the point.
The point is that dried fruit is not an adequate substitute for fresh fruit that is still in its whole state. It is definitely something you can eat and enjoy, but it should not become a staple in your diet.
How Much Can You Eat?
It’s best to limit dried fruit to a small snack or as an additional ingredient in recipes. When I eat raisins or dried blueberries, for instance, I tend to only eat a few handfuls at the most.
Again, it is always a step up to eat your food fresh.
That said, I will make a meal of fresh dates, like the delicious Barhi dates. Fresh dates are more water-rich than their dried counterparts and much more delicious.
If you’ve ever had fresh dates, you know exactly what I mean.
Did I mention…caramel candy?! 😉
How About Dried Fruit and Nuts?
If you’ve read my article on food combining, you know that fatty foods like nuts and seeds should be eaten on their own or only with vegetable matter and less-sugary fruits like tomatoes and cucumber.
In other words, these foods should not be eaten with fruit. That’s because fat takes much longer to digest than the simple sugars in fruit do, which can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and fermentation.
This rule also applies to dried fruit, perhaps even more so. Because the sugar in raisins, dates, etc. is so concentrated, it is even more important that you consume these foods separately from high-fat foods like nuts, seeds, and avocado.
So there you have it! You can totally eat dried fruits as part of a healthy raw food diet. Just make sure to limit the amount you consume and to be mindful of the “dreaded” fruit and fat combo.
Go raw and be fit,