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Monday, 29 April 2019

Eat Dried Fruits And Seeds To Diversify Your Diet

Dried fruit and drain: what is it?

Dried fruits and seeds belong to a family of foods called oilseeds. The dried fruits are almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachio. Be careful, do not confuse them with dried fruits, which are classic fruits that have been dried by a process of dehydration such as dried apricots or raisins.

The seeds, even if they are more and more consumed, are less known. We find in this family the seeds of hemp, chia, flax, sesame or soy or Sunflower. If we consider the botanical characteristics of groundnuts, it is classified in the family of legumes but if we consider its composition it is often found classified with the other dried fruits in the nutritional data. In addition to their consumption in raw form, dried fruits and seeds are also consumed processed because they are the raw material of many oils such as linseed oil or sunflower oil.

Although this family of foods represents a small part of our daily food intake, it is very important because of the specific composition of these different foods.

What are the nutritional characteristics of dried fruits and seeds?

If we observe the overall composition, these are foods that contain between 20 and 60% of lipids that is to say of fats. This proportion is important so that these foods will have a significant calorie intake. The protein content varies between different dried fruits and seeds. But what must be remembered is that these proteins are interesting because they are of very good quality. Finally, the foods in this family contain little carbohydrate, that is, sugars.

In terms of quality, in addition to containing high-quality proteins, dried fruits and seeds are also sources of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, calcium or magnesium. For a long time, we also valued the type of fatty acids that make up these foods. However, now we realize that these profiles vary enormously from one food to another. In fact, it is possible to distinguish dried fruits and seeds possessing monounsaturated fatty acids, for example, almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and those having polyunsaturated fatty acids such as nuts or sunflower seeds.

What are the health benefits of eating dried fruits and seeds?

There is a lot of research done in recent years that shows the consumption of dried fruits and seeds could play a positive role in our health by preventing the occurrence of several diseases. Thus, various studies have shown that increasing the consumption of dried fruits and seeds could play a role in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes but also the risk of cardiovascular disease. A large number of studies have shown that the consumption of dried fruits and seeds reinforces the effect of satiety, that is to say, the fact of not being hungry. This is very important because these studies have shown that this consumption allows better control of the weight of the subjects.

Based on all these features, what are your recommendations?

This year, many reports have been published which all mention that it is interesting to increase the consumption of pulses but also of dried fruits and seeds in order to compensate in particular for the decline in meat consumption. However, before increasing this consumption of dried fruits and seeds, it must be remembered that overall consumption should remain moderate because they are fatty and caloric foods. We must also change the place of these foods in our food days. Indeed, they are often eaten as a snack or appetizer. It is very important to introduce them into the daily ration and that their input comes to replace other foods but does not represent additional consumption.

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