Carb Counts and Health Benefits of Dried Apricots

Dried Apricot Nutritional Information

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Apricots are a healthy food, with their orange color being a clue to the high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A they contain. Dried apricots are easy to take along as a snack and they can be used in trail mix or as a mix-in for oatmeal or yogurt.

However, as with all dried fruits, the dehydration concentrates not only the flavor but the sugar as well, which can easily lead to carbohydrate overload.

Portion control is never more important than with dried fruits, as it's easy to eat more than you realize. Also, be sure you are buying dried apricots that have no sugar added. They are sweet enough naturally, but sometimes they are glazed or dusted with sugar.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Dried Apricots

  • 1/2 cup dried apricot halves: 36 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 5 grams fiber and 157 calories
  • 1 ounce dried apricots: 16 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 67 calories
  • 1 medium dried apricot: 4 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 17 calories.
  • A whole fresh apricot has the same carbohydrates, fiber, and calories as a whole dried apricot, but weighs more due to the water content. 

Glycemic Index for Dried Apricots

Two studies of dried apricots had an average glycemic index of 31. This is on a scale where pure glucose is 100. This is low to moderate because the sugar in apricots is mostly fructose, which has a lower glycemic index than glucose or sucrose.

Glycemic Load of Dried Apricots

Glycemic load takes into account both the glycemic index and the amount of food that is eaten. A glycemic load of 10 or less is considered to be low and should have little effect on blood glucose or insulin response. You can see from the figures how portion size will make a large difference on the glycemic load for dried apricots.

  • 1/2 cup dried apricot halves: 20
  • 1 ounce dried apricots:9
  • 1 medium dried apricot: 2

Dried Apricot Equivalents

If you are using dried apricots in place of fresh for cooking, these equivalents can help you make the conversion:

  • 1 pound dried apricots = 2 3/4 cups
  • 1 pound dried apricots = 5 cups cooked
  • 6 ounces dried apricots = 1 cup
  • 6 ounces dried apricots = 2 cups cooked

Health Benefits of Dried Apricots

Although apricots lose almost all of their vitamin C, and some other nutrients, in the drying process, they are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium. Apricots also contain relatively large amounts of phytonutrients, especially beta-carotene, which may help protect your cells from damage. Apricots are a good natural source of fiber, which is important for digestive health and plays a role in lipid metabolism.

Apricot lore has it that the term "nectar of the gods" refers to the juice and pulp of fresh apricots which was reputedly the drink of choice of the Greek and Roman gods.

Sources:

Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008. Diabetes Care. 2008;31(12):2281-2283. doi:10.2337/dc08-1239.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, United States Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/.

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