Dried fruits are shelf-stable alternatives to fresh fruit that avert common barriers to consuming fruit. Consumption of dried fruits may facilitate greater fruit consumption and contribute to better diet quality and nutrient intakes..
..Mean ± standard error dried fruit intake was 0.04 ± 0.001 cup-equivalents and represented 3.7% of total fruit consumed. Consumers (7.2% of adults) had higher quality diets than nonconsumers (mean ± standard error Healthy Eating Index 2015 score = 60.6 ± 0.5 vs 52.6 ± 0.3; P < 0.001) and lower mean body mass index, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure ( P < 0.01).
Total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, potassium, and polyunsaturated fat intakes were greater on days when dried fruits were consumed vs not consumed ( P < 0.001). Total calorie intakes were also greater (208-215 kcal; P ≤ 0.002) when dried fruits were consumed.
Dried fruit consumption is associated with higher diet quality and greater intakes of underconsumed nutrients. However, dried fruits do not appear to displace other calorie sources on days when consumed.