Yes, Dried fruit is allowed during the Whole30 but just as with regular fruit, in moderation.
The Whole30 rules around fruit, dried and fresh aren’t really about the sugar content or the carbs—it’s more about how you’re incorporating them into your Whole30 and why.
Dried Fruit Can Still Feed the Sugar Dragon, If Used Incorrectly
One of the major goals of the Whole30 is to target the craving and habits around sugar.
The strict Whole30 rules line out a path to slaying your Sugar Dragon by starving it with no added sugar at all, not even the natural kind. While you are being conscious about cutting out all added sugar it’s just as important to be mindful that you’re not using dried fruits to satisfy your flaming cravings beast.
We all know that it’s easier said than done.
How to Use Dried Fruit The Right Way on Whole30
The Whole30 suggests adding two servings of fruit to your meals and not relying on them as a dessert or a snack.
However, if you find yourself grabbing an extra orange or nibbling on some dried papayas post workout, that doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your whole month.
In her blog “Ask Melissa”, the Headmistress suggest going through this three-step process when you’re facing a sticky fruit situation.
“I have a three-part recommendation: first, make a rule that fruit isn’t to be eaten by itself; second, identify a set portion up front that you know both suits your meal planning needs and doesn’t make you feel bad, physically or emotionally, and third, practice mindful eating with fruit or other sweet “treats.”’
The Whole30 Rules and Recommendations remind us that there is no such thing as a perfect Whole30.
There will be those emergency situations where you may need to grab some dried fruit or a nut bar and for those cases Whole30 has a wide range of compliant on-the-go products available.
“ In the U.S., we’ve got 4 flavors of RxBars and 11 flavors of Larabars; in the U.K. you’ve got a half-dozen or so Nak’d bars that fit the bill. There are also a number of recipes for homemade no-sugar-added “energy bars” (like these from Stupid Easy Paleo). “
A great way to utilize dried fruits in your actual meals, is to try throwing in some cranberries to your Whole30 chicken salad or sprinkling a few currents in your cauliflower rice.
Not only will these dried fruit toppings sweeten up your meals, it will also add some texture and flavor to your dishes.
However, avoid creeping into SWYPO territory by not trying to recreate desserts and snacks using Whole30 compliant ingredients like dates – that defeats the whole point of resetting your sugar and snacking habits!
Favorite Dried Fruits & How to Find Compliant Ones
When on the hunt for Whole30 compliant dried fruits it’s important to make sure you are still vigilant with checking your labels.
You may be surprised to find out that many brands add sweeteners and preservatives to their dried fruits, which are usually easy to identify by their long, hard to pronounce names.
Even when purchasing dried fruits in bulk from places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s it is good practice to ask to for the ingredients list if they aren’t publicly on display, just to be on the safe side.
These are the key off-limits additives to look out for when foraging for dried fruit:
- Sulfur Dioxide
- Sodium Bisulfite
- Potassium Metabisulfite
We understand that sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the synonyms companies use for sugar and ‘seasoning’. Lucky for us, the Whole30 team created a quick list of common additives to help you decipher the details. When in doubt, always fall back on the unspoken rule of -the less ingredients the better.
Compliant Dried Fruit Brands: A Few Favorites
Here are a few of our favorite and easy to find Whole30 friendly dried fruits:
- Mavuno Harvest Organic Jackfruit. Ingredients: Organic Papaya
- Thrive Market Organic Black Mission Figs. Ingredients: Organic Dried Jackfruit
- Bare Organic Baked Fuji & Reds Apple Chips. Ingredients: Organic Apples
- Thrive Market Organic Dried Apricot. Ingredients: Organic Apricots
- Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Blueberries. Ingredients: Freeze Dried Blueberries
- Trader Joe’s Supersweet Dried Carabao Mango. Ingredients: Mangoes
- Made In Nature Dried Banana Slices. Ingredients: Organic Dried Banana Slices, Organic Mandarin Lemon Juice
- Organic Living Superfoods Raw Dried Pineapple. Ingredients: Organic Pineapples
If you find yourself overwhelmed with additive anxiety then you can try your hand at making your own dried fruit at home. The Healthy Foodie has a two ingredient, Whole30 compliant dried cranberry recipe that can be adapted to incorporate almost any berry you choose.
As always, the most important part is staying aware and in control during your Whole30. Try to use these thirty days to teach yourself how to be more conscious and mindful when your eating dried fruit, or any food for that matter, even if its Whole30 approved.