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09.15.04
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Dear Hungry Girl,

Does really ripe fruit have more calories than less ripe fruit?

-- Curious in California

Dear Curious,

Excellent question! I've searched high and low, and have found no evidence that suggests that really ripe fruit contains more calories than less ripe fruit. But, wait! Don't bite into that squishy brown banana just yet. Though ripeness doesn't affect a fruit's calorie count, it does affect the amount of sugar it contains. The more ripe a fruit is, the more concentrated its sugars become. The bottom line is; snacking on super-sweet fruit raises your insulin levels -- which will cause you to be hungry again more quickly. Even worse, high insulin levels cause your body to go into fat-storage mode. Eeek!


Dear Hungry Girl,

I love snacking on dried fruit, but have heard that it's super-fattening. Is there any truth to this rumor?

-- All Dried Out

Dear Dried Out,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the rumor is true. Dried fruit isn't the healthy snack you'd think it would be. The drying process actually yanks out most of the fruits vitamins and nutrients, but leaves in all the sugar and calories! Um, how sucky is THAT?! As if that weren't bad enough, because the dried fruit is smaller and more condensed, it also contains more sugar, calories and carbs per gram than its hydrated counterpart. For example, 100 grams of dried apricots contains 238 calories and 53 carbs, while 100 grams of fresh apricots weighs in at just 56 calories and 13 carbs! Until some fruitmaster uncovers a way to dry fruit so it's the carbs and calories that are sucked out and the nutrients that are left in, go for fresh fruit and ditch the dried stuff.

CHEW ON THIS:
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