Contributed by Jennifer Dawson

American’s are on average getting fatter each year, with nearly 35% of the population now considered obese. Obesity isn’t just about waist size. It is now classed as a chronic disease in the U.S. There can be no doubt that it is crucial that the country tackles this growing epidemic. While the healthy eating market is saturated with the latest fad diet and the latest healthy cookbook, could foods that have been dehydrated be the secret weapon in helping people tackle obesity? Eating dried food may seem like an unusual concept to anyone new to it, but it can actually have some remarkable benefits for your health and budget.

Dehydrating Process Locks In Nutrients

When you dehydrate food, it retains all the original minerals, vitamins and natural enzymes which can often be lost. Dried fruits such as plums, cranberries, and grapes have been found to contain as much as double the number of antioxidants compared to fresh versions of the fruit. When you are either struggling with your weight or trying to not gain weight, nutrients in your diet are crucial, especially when so much of the food available is chemically altered with minimal nutritious value.

Great Snack Options

It's not surprising that America has an obesity crisis when you realize that the average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar each year. This is equivalent to a huge 6 cups or 3 pounds of sugar consumed in just one week. However, people should only get 10% of their calorie intake from sugar. The truth is, you are what you eat and if you want to be healthier and slimmer than you may need to reconsider what you are consuming. If you find yourself reaching for sugary snacks try some dehydrated alternatives instead which will have all the flavor and sweetness that your tastebuds are after. Snack on sun-dried tomatoes, or create your own dried fruit chip snacks from oranges, apples, and pears. Make veggie chips from carrots and sweet potatoes

Budget-Friendly Food

While sugar snacks maybe increasing waistlines, it's also increasing how much we spend on food. While grocery spending remains constant, snack sales are on the rise, reaching at least $374 billion. But when it comes to making your own dehydrated snacks at home, you can actually make significant savings. If you bulk buy produce at a discounted rate, dehydrate the food at home, then you not only have healthy delicious snacks right there, but you also save on gas, extra trips to the grocery store, while also enjoying foods for the fraction of the packaged price.

While the obesity epidemic in America, and in fact the world, is no secret, there is still a huge fast food culture in the U.S. However, the key to losing weight is by making significant lifestyle changes and changing our attitudes to the food we eat. Start by making some simple changes such as switching your sugary snacks to dehydrated foods and you will be pleasantly surprised just how easy (and tasty) it is to make that positive change.