Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet is key to losing weight, and grapes' relatively low calorie content makes them a good fit for weight loss diets. Grapes serve as a natural source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that might also have some weight loss benefits, and they also offer a small amount of satiating fiber. Lose weight by using grapes to make diet foods more delicious, or to help you avoid higher-calorie junk food while you lose weight.
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Grapes: A Low-Cal Snack for Weight Loss
Grapes, like other fruits, are a moderate source of calories, so they can fit into a weight loss diet. A cup of slip-skin grapes, such as concord grapes, has just 62 calories per cup. Even if you're following a very calorie-restricted 1,200-calorie diet, that's still just 5 percent of your daily calorie allowance. European-style table grapes -- the red and green grapes you often see at the grocery store -- have 104 calories per cup. That's roughly 9 percent of your daily calories on an 1,200-calorie diet or 6 percent if you're following an 1,800-calorie weight loss diet.
Potential Benefits From Resveratrol
Resveratrol is best known as a beneficial compound in red wine, but it's found in red and purple grapes too. And grapes' natural resveratrol might help you shed pounds, according to a preliminary study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2014. The study looked at the effects of a resveratrol supplement on muscle metabolism and found that resveratrol boosted energy expenditure in muscle tissue. In other words, it helped the study subjects burn more calories throughout the day, because their muscles were using more energy.
Another study, published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry in 2015, found that resveratrol might help insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. That might be important for weight loss, since insulin is tasked with controlling your blood sugar levels. When your body can't respond to insulin properly, you're more likely to experience blood sugar spikes and crashes that leave you hungry. The study found that resveratrol might help you respond properly to insulin, which would in turn regulate your blood sugar levels and fight cravings and hunger.
While these studies are promising, more research is needed -- including longer-term studies involving larger groups of people -- to know whether simply eating grapes has these same weight loss benefits.
Other Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes offer essential nutrients that, while not directly associated with weight loss, can keep you healthy as you lose weight. You'll get a generous amount of vitamin K, which helps with healthy cell growth, bone health and blood clotting function. A cup of American-type grapes has 17 percent of the daily value for vitamin K, while European-type grapes have 28 percent of the daily value per cup.
Grapes also offer a modest amount of dietary fiber, a nutrient linked to weight loss. Fiber-rich foods typically require more chewing, which can stop you from overeating because of eating too quickly, and it helps boost satiety after your meal. European-type grapes are a better source of fiber than American-type ones -- offering 6 percent of the daily value per cup, compared to 3 percent. But grapes aren't as high in fiber as some other fruits. An apple, for example, offers 18 percent of the daily value, while a cup of raspberries has 32 percent.
Serving Tips for Weight Loss
Use grapes as a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of snacking on sherbet, for example, blend a cup of frozen grapes for a healthy "sorbet" free of added sugar. Substituting a cup of frozen grapes, blended into sorbet, for a cup of orange sherbet saves you 110 calories -- enough to help you lose 11 pounds if you made this substitution every day for a year.
Or add grapes to healthy recipes to boost their natural sweetness. Add a handful of concord grapes to your fruit smoothies -- grapes work especially well with smoothies made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach, cooked oats and almond butter -- add grapes to a spinach salad, or add sliced grapes to chicken salad for a sweet-and-savory sandwich filling.
- HealthAliciousNess: Nutrient Facts Comparison Tool (American Grapes, European Grapes, Canned Grapes)
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Effects of Resveratrol in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on Skeletal Muscle SIRT1 Expression and Energy Expenditure
- Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry: Modulation of SIRT1-Foxo1 Signaling Axis by Resveratrol: Implications in Skeletal Muscle Aging and Insulin Resistance.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K
- HealthAliciousNess: Nutrient Facts Comparison Tool (Raspberries, Strawberries, Apples)
- Colorado State University: Dietary Fiber