Difference between nuts and dried fruits
What comes to your mind when you think of some healthy snacks? Health-conscious persons and fitness specialists like to add a spoonful of dried fruits and nuts to their diet. However, the terms ‘dried fruits’ and ‘nuts’ are used interchangeably. Do they differ from each other?
One of the major similarities is that both can be preserved for a long period. But, there are some clear differences?
What are nuts?
Nuts are single-seeded dry fruits with a high amount of oil. Nuts remain enclosed in a solid outer layer, which is known as the protective husk. Pine nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts are some common nuts. Other rare varieties of macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, and Brazil nuts.
Although peanuts belong to the legume category, they are categorized as nuts. Almost any type of fat contains protein and healthy fats (like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats). These nuts are also a good source of vitamin A, E, B1, and B2. Moreover, they contain minerals, such as, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and potassium. The presence of polyunsaturated fats also helps with the maintenance of blood cholesterol level. Several other compounds in nuts also have anti-inflammatory properties.
What are dried fruits?
When the water content of fresh fruits is removed, you consume the dried version. So, raisins are dehydrated forms of grapes. Other known dried fruits include dates, figs, prunes, peaches, and apricots.
Drying is a traditional way to preserve any food. Once the fresh fruits were cut, they dried naturally in the sun. However, technological advancements have made the process easier. Industrial units use modern dehydration techniques to make the process faster.
Despite using the best preservation technique, the drying process causes a few alterations to the nutritional value. The nutrients in dried fruits become much more concentrated than those in fresh fruits. Thus, a major difference in the nutritional concentration of the dried fruits. But, what is common in any dried fruit is fiber. Other dried fruits like apricots and raisins have a high amount of potassium and manganese. On the contrary, sugary dried fruits like cranberries and goji berries have a high level of antioxidants. So, these are some valuable nutritional facts about dried fruits.
When fresh fruits are dehydrated, they can shrink up to 75%. That is why it is not easy to overeat dried fruits.
Storage of nuts and dried fruits-
Both should be stored in a tightly lidded container, which is placed away from light and heat. In a cool place, they remain safe for several months. But, longer storage time results in the degradation of vitamin C. Moreover, when you store dried fruits in a warm place, they can undergo fermentation. Thus, it is safe to put them inside your refrigerator. Nuts stored in a container remain safe for 6 to 12 months.
You have now understood the difference between dried fruits and nuts. Both are nutritious and are a part of your everyday diet.