Eating raisins in moderation won’t harm your weight-loss efforts, but they’re no magic bullet to melt away the pounds. A healthy weight-loss plan is one that incorporates a variety of foods rich in nutrients, but creates a calorie deficit. Keep in mind that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
Most adults should consume 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit a day, according to the USDA. A 1/2-cup serving of raisins is equivalent to a 1-cup serving of fresh fruit toward that daily recommendation. The concentration of nutrients in dried fruits like raisins drives up the calorie content.
Calories and Nutrients
Raisins have high caloric content relative to the serving size. A 1/2-cup serving of loosely packed raisins has about 217 calories. It also has 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber with just a trace amount of fat. This same size serving of raisins also provides 1 gram of iron and 543 milligrams of potassium.
While raisins offer no inherent weight-loss benefit, when you eat them as part of a low-calorie diet, you may find that raisins satisfy your sweet tooth and aid in digestion. Eating foods that have both soluble and insoluble fiber, such as raisins, may help you lose weight because fiber makes you feel full longer and aids in controlling your blood sugar levels. Raisins also take awhile to chew, which may help you control how many you eat at one time.
Like any other high-calorie food, use raisins sparingly while on a diet. Include 1 tablespoon of raisins in your oatmeal or on a green salad to add nutrients and texture. Make a low-fat carrot and raisin salad using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, or add nutrients to bran muffins by including raisins.
- University of California Agricultural Issues Center: Commodity Profile: Raisins (Dried Grapes); Marcia Kreith, et al.
- Raisin Production Manual: Raisin Grape Varieties; L. Peter Christensen, et al.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Raisins
- USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?
- Bastyr University: Fiber and Weight Loss; Wendy Caamano, et al.