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Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.

Dried Fruit And Weight

Sweet Treat Linked with Lower BMIs, Smaller Waists

Researchers from Louisiana State University decided that the subject of dried fruit and weight gain had received relatively little scientific scrutiny, particularly given widespread concerns about obesity. Drawing on data from large scale nutritional surveys, they looked at the dietary intakes of 13,292 adults and compared those to body measurements. The result: Those who ate dried fruit daily (as little as an eighth of a cup) had lower body mass indexes (BMIs), smaller waists and less body fat (by as much as 5% in a skin fold test).

Why might this be? For one thing, dried fruit eaters had a 43% higher intake of fiber. In previous research, increasing fiber intake helped triple weight-loss results. Also, this group enjoyed an overall 20% higher aggregate intake of nearly all essential nutrients — thereby avoiding the nutrient deficiencies that send our bodies the message to go on eating. Moreover, an earlier study focusing specifically on raisins found that regular consumption raised levels of leptin — a hormone that helped with appetite control.

Bonus: Raisins contain compounds that might help reduce tooth decay by fighting the oral bacteria linked to cavities and gum disease.