Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Packaged Dried Fruits

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. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Sugar Coated Dried Fruits

Fresh and dried fruits are sometimes coated with sugar to make a more appealing snack or dessert, or to add a decorative element to pastry dishes.

The process is simple enough that it can be done at home. Usually a layer of egg whites or dissolved meringue powder is first applied. Then the fruit is dusted with confectionery or regular sugar. Afterwards the whole thing is left to settle for a few minutes to let the coating settle and stick.

There is a slight difference between sugar coated dried fruits and candied fruit although both types of products can be sugar coated. The former is simply dehydrated and then sweetened. The latter meanwhile undergoes more processing where the water content of the fruit is replaced with sugar.

The health risks of consuming too much sugar are well known which is why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends that you avoid this food. Continue reading about the negative effects of sugar coated dried fruits. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Fruit Candy

The process of using syrup to preserve fruits and turning them into candy are practically similar in the initial stage. The fruits are sliced and cooked in sugar syrup. Candying however takes the process a few steps further.

To make fruit candy, one has to cook the fruit in sugar syrup in low to medium heat, bringing it to a slow boil. This goes on until the fruit is slightly translucent. Afterwards the fruit is left to soak in the syrup for several days. The goal here is to remove the water content of the fruit and replace it with the sugar. Throughout the soaking period, the concentration of the syrup is gradually increased by regular additions of sugar. Finally the thick syrup is drained and the fruit is allowed to dry.

As with fruits in syrup, the health drawbacks and risks presented by fruit candy are due to the significant amounts of sugar necessary in its making. Continue reading to learn about the negative effects of fruit candy. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Fruits in Syrup

Soaking fruits in syrup is one of the common methods used to preserve fresh produce. Whether they’re canned, bottled, or stored in other types of food packaging, syrup is a frequently used liquid storage medium.

When sugar is dissolved in water the resulting mixture is denser. Add enough sugar and the mixture becomes thicker than the internal fluids of the microorganisms in the mixture. Because of osmotic pressure, microorganisms in such a liquid will shrivel and die as their internal fluids flow out of their cell membranes. This is what makes syrup an effective preservative for fruits.

Submerge fruits in this preserving liquid, store them in a hermetically sealed container, and the fruit will not spoil for a long period of time. The advantage – fruit preservation, The disadvantage – significant additional sugar content. Read on and know more about the negative effects of fruits in syrup. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Canned Fruits

Canning was born out of the logistical needs of the military. It was during the Napoleonic Wars that the French government actively sought out a solution for preserving large amounts of food in conveniently portable containers to feed its large mobile armies. Thus it was a French confectioner and brewer by the name of Nicolas Appert who first established the canning process in 1809. At that time sealed glass jars served as the containers.

Technology and the manufacturing process improved and tin cans soon replaced glass jars. Soldiers in the succeeding wars all the way to World War 2 received canned fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry of continuously increasing quality. As canned goods became cheaper to produce, demand in the consumer market also came about and grew.

Fruits are at their most nutritious and beneficial when raw and fresh. Unfortunately they are perishable. While canned fruits may widen the availability and consumption of fruits by preserving them way beyond natural limits, the convenience comes at the price of certain health risks. Read further and discover the negative effects of canned fruits. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Fruit Juices

Fruit juices used to be a treat, a dessert beverage enjoyed only occasionally. However with the way the modern American diet has changed, various commercial fruit juice products now fill grocery shelves.

To avoid the artificial ingredients and processed sugar contained in such commercial fruit beverages, one can always make homemade fruit juice derived from actual raw and whole fruit. There are now kitchen appliances that make this process easy to accomplish.

But even a carefully prepared and freshly made juice has some disadvantages from a nutritional standpoint. Continue reading about the pros and cons of fruit juices to understand why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends only moderate consumption. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Natural Dried Fruits

To qualify as naturally dried, a fruit simply needs to be dehydrated by the most direct means possible with no artificial additives included in the process. In other words, fresh slices of apples dried in an oven or kitchen dehydrator, or grapes left out in the sun to dry can be considered natural dried fruit.

Drying has its advantages and disadvantages. Being one of the simplest methods of food preservation, it can certainly prolong a fruit’s shelf life and in general increase availability. When the season for fresh fruit has passed, dried fruit is the next best option. In terms of nutrition however there is a bit of a trade off. While concentrations of certain nutrients such as dietary fiber and minerals may increase, heat-sensitive substances like Vitamin C are reduced or completely lost.

Continue reading to further understand the pros and cons of natural dried fruits and how its moderate consumption can still help your quest to Become Superhuman.

Natural Dried Fruit Benefits:

Removing most of a fruit’s water content via an appropriate amount of heat tends to concentrate some of its nutrients. Here’s a comparison between a cup of fresh and dried apricots:

Fresh = 3.1 g fiber, 0.6 mg iron, 149 retinol activity equivalents of Vitamin A

Dried = 6.5 g fiber, 2.3 mg iron, 160 retinol activity equivalents of Vitamin A

The increase of essential nutrients like dietary fiber and certain types of minerals and vitamins are typical in natural dried fruit. The amounts and degree of concentration however may vary. It depends on the fruit and the drying process used. In a study that looked into the antioxidant properties of various dried fruits, figs and plums turned out to have the highest nutrient score.

Some types of natural dried fruit have been shown to aid oral health. Raisins are commonly but mistakenly thought to cause dental cavities because they’re sweet and sticky. Recent studies have shown however that a bioactive substance called oleanolic acid found in raisins can inhibit growth of oral bacteria. It even prevents the microorganisms from sticking to the enamel surface of teeth thus blocking the formation of dental plaque.

Natural Dried Fruit Risks:

Carbohydrates and sugars also get more concentrated in the process of drying fresh fruit. This means more calories. Going back to the apricot example, a cup of the fresh fruit has about 74 calories while the same amount dried delivers around 212 calories.

This isn’t necessarily a health risk as long as you’re aware of this significant difference that natural dried fruits have with their fresh counterparts. You simply have to eat less of a dried version of fruit to maintain the same amount of calorie intake. Generally a half cup of natural dried fruit is more or less equivalent to one whole cup of fresh.

Natural Dried Practical Uses:

There are situations where you’re going to need high-calorie food. Like say you’re participating in an endurance sport or outdoor activity. Natural dried fruits can deliver loads of energy per weight which makes them a light and convenient load to carry. This is why dried fruit is a major component of any trail mix.

Besides addition of their flavor, natural dried fruits serve as a proportional replacement for regular sugar and as a factor for controlling and absorbing moisture in baking and cooking. Some recipes may require that you reconstitute dried fruit ingredients. This is easily done by soaking them in hot water for a couple of minutes.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of fruit juices and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:


























Natural Dried Fruit

Fruit Juices


Canned Fruit

Fruit in Syrup

Fruit Candy

Sugar Coated Dried Fruit

Packaged Dried Fruit

If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of natural 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 pros and cons of natural dried fruits.

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Figs

The common fig bears the distinction of being one of the first plants ever to be cultivated. Humans have been planting and harvesting figs since 9000 BC, even before the farming of crops like wheat or barley. In the history of agriculture, figs have been there since the beginning.

The plant is quite hardy. It can thrive on poor soil and even tolerate the occasional drought. One of its adaptations is an aggressive root system that can really go deep in search of groundwater. This is why wild figs can grow successfully despite inhospitable surroundings. In return, fig trees and their water source help cool down the nearby habitat and provide shelter for various animals.

Figs are advantageous to both man and environment. It makes sense for the fruit to have been part of the human diet for so long as it offers some of the more essential nutrients. There is a small health risk to be considered but it doesn’t outweigh the benefits. Read on and figure out the pros and cons of figs. Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Dates

Dates have been a staple food in the Middle East and South Asia for a very long time. There is archeological evidence in fact that shows cultivation of the fruit as far back as the days of Mesopotamia, around 4000 B.C.

Few fruits and their trees are as versatile as dates. In India, the date palm’s sweet sap is tapped and this can then be processed into sugar, fermented into an alcoholic beverage, or further made into vinegar. Young palm leaves, terminal buds, and flowers are all edible and prepared as vegetables in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines.

Dates are carbohydrate-rich like most staple food. But this quality can also become a disadvantage if understood and used poorly. Read on and learn about the pros and cons of dates.

Continue reading

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Strawberries

Fragaria ananassa or the typical strawberry enjoyed by many today is a fairly recent creation. It is a natural hybrid that occurred in a garden in 18th century France. It came about when two wild species of strawberries transplanted in the area cross bred. One originated from Chile and the other from North America.

Before this hybrid was cultivated in earnest, strawberries were either harvested from the wild or selected wild species were transplanted into gardens. Now millions of metric tons of the fruit are produced and the US is the leading producer.

In an evaluation of the most common types of food regularly consumed in the US, strawberries came out highly ranked as a source of antioxidants. It is considered 4th among fruits exceeded only by three kinds of berries: blackberries, cranberries and raspberries.

Unfortunately there are few people that may not be able to take advantage of strawberry’s exceptional nutrition because they are allergic to the fruit. Read further and know more about the pros and cons of strawberries. Continue reading