If you compare a commercial dried fruit product with one that’s been simply made at home, you’ll easily see and taste some noticeable differences. The commercial variety will likely retain most of the original color and texture of the fruit. They’ll also be softer to chew and probably sweeter. These qualities appealing to the general consumer are brought about by additives.
Purchasing packaged dried fruits are certainly more convenient than making them yourself in the kitchen. Unfortunately such commercial food products come with artificial substances that really offer nothing for your health. Their presence only lowers the relative nutritional value of dried fruits.
Read on to discover the negative effects of packaged dried fruits and why you don’t need them in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Packaged Dried Fruit Health Risks:
One of the risks that packaged dried fruits present comes from the additives used in commercial processes. Some of the more common ones are:
- sodium sulfite
- sulfur dioxide
- potassium bisulfate
- sodium bisulfate
- sorbic acid
- potassium sorbate
All these chemicals are not actually necessary in accomplishing the dehydration of the fruit. Simple exposure to the right amount of heat at the proper length of time is enough to do that. These additives instead prevent discoloration and hardening of the dried fruit, and serve as antimicrobial agents that will inhibit the growth of mold, fungi or yeast.
While it is necessary to preserve food from microbial contamination, natural dried fruits by virtue of their concentrated sugar content is already quite resistant. The use of these additives is more for extending shelf life and making the products hardier when stocked or transported.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about 1 out of 100 people are allergic to sulfite or sulfate additives in food. While this may seem to affect only a small number of people, those who are sensitive have to be really careful about purchasing packaged dried fruit products because labeling standards for food additives are less strict than for ingredients. This means manufacturers don’t necessarily have to declare on the packaging what additives were used.
More often than not those allergic to sulfites are also asthmatic. Depending on how sensitive the person is to this type of food additive, reactions can range from headaches and rashes to anaphylactic shock.
The other risk that comes from packaged dried fruits is in the packaging itself. Bisphenol-A or BPA is a plastic chemical that is widely used in the manufacture of food packaging. Take a look at the local grocery and you’ll easily see that most packaged dried fruits are sealed in plastic. The problem with BPA is that it can actually contaminate the food inside the plastic packaging. Some of the known health issues that have been linked with this chemical are prostrate cancer, hormonal disruption, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. One of the organizations that investigated BPA is the Environmental Working Group and according to their report, negative health effects can begin to manifest even from small amounts.
The next post will move on to the third part of the Superhuman Food Pyramid – non-vegetable carbohydrates. I’ll discuss which grains and legumes to eat, moderate, and avoid in order to achieve your Superhuman health goals.
In the meantime, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of packaged dried fruits, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of packaged dried fruits.