Raisins are a good source of certain vitamins and minerals, which aren't lost when the raisins are coated in chocolate. The chocolate, while sweet and tasty, adds calories, fat and a load of sugar to the otherwise nutritious raisins. That doesn't mean you should never eat chocolate-covered raisins, but pleasing your tastebuds with the sugary treat on a regular basis might not be such a great idea.
A 1/4-cup serving of chocolate-covered raisins contains 176 calories and 7.4 grams of fat, 6.6 grams of which are saturated. According to the American Heart Association, you should limit your saturated fat intake to 7 percent or less of your total calorie intake for the day. This serving of chocolate-covered raisins clocks in at about one-third of that limit if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. Too much saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol level.
A 1/4 cup of chocolate-covered raisins has 0.77 milligrams of iron. That translates to 10 percent of the 8 milligrams men need as part of their daily diet and 4 percent of the 18 milligrams women should have every day. Iron helps your body make energy. The same serving also contains zinc, which helps your body heal from injury, and potassium, which keeps your heart and muscles working normally.
You get much smaller amounts of vitamins in chocolate-covered raisins. A 1/4 cup of chocolate-covered raisins supplies about 1 percent of the 15 milligrams of vitamin E you need each day. Vitamin E helps your body use vitamin K and aids in red blood cell production, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Chocolate-covered raisins also supply tiny amounts of vitamins A and K.
Should You Eat Chocolate-Covered Raisins?
In addition to the large amount of saturated fat, chocolate-covered raisins contain an unhealthy amount of sugar, most of it added sugar in the chocolate. A 1/4-cup serving has about 28 grams of sugar. That's equivalent to 7 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the daily 6-teaspoon limit recommended for women, according to the American Heart Association. And it's close to the 9 teaspoons men should limit themselves to each day. An occasional chocolate-covered raisin treat can be part of an otherwise healthy diet, but they don't deserve a regular spot in your healthy eating plan.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Candies, Milk Chocolate Coated Raisins
- American Heart Association: Sugars and Carbohydrates
- American Heart Association: Knowing Your Fats
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Zinc
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E