Replacing half a portion of junk food (French fries or  very processed meats like sausages etc) with 14 grams of dried fruit a day helps not to get fat over the years and reduces the risk of obesity.

This was revealed by a study published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, which involved 3 groups of individuals: 51,529 males aged 40-75; 121,700 women aged 35-55; 116,686 women aged 24-44 years. Adults, on average, tend to gain weight by half a kilo a year.

Simple behavioural strategies sometimes help to prevent gradual weight gain can be an important weapon in favour of our health and in the prevention, for example, of cardiovascular diseases. Experts followed the entire sample for 20 years, monitoring their health, weight and nutrition every 4 years. It emerged that those who added at least 14 grams of dried fruit a day to their diet had a lower risk of taking 2 or more pounds in 4 years. In particular, consuming a handful of nuts a day is associated with a 15% lower risk of becoming obese.

The protective effect of dried fruit is more evident if it is consumed in place of some unhealthy food like potato chips. Although this is a purely observational study, the results reinforce the idea that regular consumption of dried fruit (rich in vitamins, mineral salts, ‘good’, unsaturated fats) is good for health and helps control weight, for example by contributing to increase the sense of satiety.