Food Fight: Craisins v. Raisins

School Of Nutrition Posted Nov 10, 2014 Future Fit Training


Dried fruits are popular snacks with both adults and children. They are easy to carry and, because of their high sugar content, can be a more nutritious alternative to candy. But are all dried fruit essentially the same?

Food Fight: Craisins v. Raisins

Craisins v Raisins

Let’s look at some stats comparing 1oz (28g) servings of dried cranberries and raisins:

 

OCEAN SPRAY DRIED CRAISINS

CALIFORNIA RAISINS

Calories

86kcal

84kcal

Protein

0g

0.9g

Carbohydrates

23.1g

22.4g

Of which sugars

18.2g

16.7g

Fibre

1.6g

1g

Fat

0.4g

0.1g

Potassium

11.2mg

210mg

Ingredients

Cranberries (65%), Sugar, Sunflower oil

Raisins, Vegetable oil

Here are some highlights:

  • Both have similar amounts of calories but Craisins have slightly more fibre than raisins.
  • Raisins have significantly more potassium than Craisins. Fresh fruits are generally good sources of potassium. However, it appears that the processing may have removed a significant portion of the potassium in Craisins.
  • A quick glance at the labels shows that Craisins have sugar added. However, both have similar amounts of total sugars. This is because tart cranberries naturally have less sugar to begin with. So even after adding sugar to sweeten them up, they do not contain significantly more sugar than raisins.

 

OUR WINNER: Raisins!

We have to hand it to raisins for their high potassium levels and no added sugar.

Having said that, all dried fruits can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a health diet. Being shelf-stable they make an excellent snack choice for the office, school or when you are on the go. And, because they are high in natural sugars, they can offer a satisfying alternative for your sweet tooth.

It is worth pointing out, though, that some water soluble vitamins may be lost during the drying process, so whenever possible choose fresh fruits instead.

The preservative sulfur dioxide (E220) is often used to preserve the colour and freshness of some dried fruits, such as golden raisins, dried apricots and figs. So avoid these if you are concerned about this. If in doubt, check the label to be sure.

 

Written by Victoria Trowse

If you would like us feature specific types or brands of food in our weekly Food Fight, email nicola.white@futurefit.co.uk with your suggestions.

 

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