All dried fruits are nutritious and healthier than snacks such as candy, potato chips, snack cakes and cookies. Dried fruits preserved in their natural states are the healthiest to consume. Dried fruits containing chemical preservatives and additives are less healthy than pure varieties.
Dried fruits retain most of their natural nutrients and antioxidants after the dehydration process. Although dehydration shrinks the fruits, the process makes concentrated nutrients inside some fruits more potent than when fresh. Antioxidants are more potent in dried fruits such as grapes, cranberries and plums. One nutrient that loses potency during dehydration is vitamin C. In general, fresh and dried fruit are equally nutritious.
Some types of dried fruit contain added sugar or preservatives. Sulfur dioxide is a common preservative in dried apricots and golden raisins. Often, a preservative is necessary to retain the fruit's original color after drying. Sugar is a common additive to dried cherries and cranberries because it lessens their natural tartness. Oil additives prevent the fruits from clumping, and fruit juice additives sweeten the fruits. Moderate amounts of dried fruit in a diet are beneficial to health. However, due to the shrinkage of dried fruits, they are more tempting to consume in overlarge quantities.