Dried Fruit Versus Regular Fruit: Which Is Better For Weight Loss?

You may have heard that replacing processed foods with fruit is a great way to kickstart a weight-loss journey. But does this rule of thumb apply to dried fruit as well? Although dried fruit has many health benefits, weight loss is unfortunately not one of them, according to WebMD

Dried fruit can lead to weight gain since drying fruit reduces its size but does not lower the number of calories it contains. Since you are eating less bulk, you will likely ingest more to feel full, which adds to your overall calorie consumption (via WebMD). For weight loss, you want to expend more calories than you consume. This is more easily accomplished when your food is lower in calories and higher in bulk, leading to greater satiety with less food. Some dried fruits are more calorically dense than others. 

Healthline suggests dates are most likely to cause weight gain, packing a whopping 66.5 calories into one 24-gram date. A handful could set you back nearly 400 calories. Prunes are another dried fruit rich in nutrition but can cause you to pack on the pounds. One 28-gram serving contains 67 calories. Dried apricots dial in at 67 calories per 28-gram serving, while currants contain 79 calories per one 28-gram serving. If weight loss is your goal, your best bet is to stick with fresh fruit.

The best fresh fruits for weight loss

Unlike its dried counterpart, most fresh fruit tends to be low in calories while still providing a nutritional punch, according to Healthline. Incorporating fresh fruit into your diet is recommended if you're looking to shed some pounds, especially when it replaces high-calorie, nutrition-poor foods. Many fruits also contain fiber, which helps you feel full for longer and prevents you from overeating. While it's hard to go wrong when eating more fruit, some are better than others when it comes to weight loss. 

For instance, grapefruit is just 39 calories and has the additional benefit of vitamin C (via Healthline). Apples are also helpful for weight loss due to their high fiber content. One apple contains around 116 calories and will keep you full between meals. And if you love passion fruit, good news. They contain only 17 calories per 18-gram fruit. 

For an antioxidant boost to go along with your weight-loss goals, toss back 1/2 cup of blueberries (42 calories) or a cup of strawberries (50 calories), according to Healthline. Note that higher-calorie fruits, such as bananas and avocados, can still be eaten in moderation, but you may want to prioritize lower-calorie fruits whenever possible.