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Raisins and Weight Loss

by
author image Diane Lynn
Diane Lynn began writing in 1998 as a guest columnist for the "Tallahassee Democrat." After losing 158 pounds, she wrote her own weight-loss curriculum and now teaches classes on diet and fitness. Lynn also writes for The Oz Blog and her own blog, Fit to the Finish. She has a Bachelor of Science in finance from Florida State University.
Raisins and Weight Loss
A bowl of raisins. Photo Credit MSPhotographic/iStock/Getty Images

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.

USDA Recommendations

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.

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Benefits

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.

Strategies

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.

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References

Demand Media