A small box of raisins makes for an ideal snack at home or at work when you need a sweet treat to get you through the afternoon. Although raisins are high in calories, they won't automatically lead to fat gain. If you eat this dried fruit excessively, however, it might put your body into a caloric excess, in which case you'll gain weight.
Weight Gain Can Be Subtle
Gaining fat is dependent on the relationship between the calories your body takes in and those it burns during exercise and other everyday activities. No type of food will automatically make you fat, but if a food's high caloric value increases your day's caloric intake beyond your caloric burn, weight gain is the result. Because 1 pound of fat is made of 3,500 calories, you aren't likely to see instant fat gain. For example, if your caloric intake exceeds your caloric burn by 100 calories per day, it would take 35 days to gain 1 pound of fat.
Be Wary of Calories in Raisins
Eating a diet low in calories, coupled with exercising, can keep your body in a caloric balance or caloric deficit, which will lead you to maintain or lose weight, respectively. A single serving of raisins doesn't take long to eat, but its high caloric value might be problematic. A 1.5-ounce box of raisins, for example, has 129 calories. If your recommended daily caloric intake is 1,800 calories and you have a sedentary lifestyle, the 100-plus calories in the box of raisins makes up a significant part of your caloric allotment. In this case, the raisins could play a role in you getting fat, especially if you eat multiple servings.
Raisins for Diabetics
Although eating too many raisins might increase your probability of gaining weight, a small serving of this source of natural sugars and complex carbs is often ideal for people with diabetes. When your blood sugar is low, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center recommends eating something sweet, such as raisins. Don't overdo it, however. Two tablespoons of raisins provides about 15 grams of carbs and might be enough to reduce the symptoms of low blood sugar.
Pair Raisins With Exercise
If you love the taste of raisins and want to include them in your diet, give yourself peace of mind by committing to some regular exercise. Physical activity should already be a part of your day, but you can offset the 100 or so calories you consume when you eat a small box of raisins by burning at least 100 calories during something physical. Doing so won't take long; a 30-minute walk for someone who weighs 155 pounds will more than offset the raisins' calories.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Raisins, Seedless
- USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion: Balancing Calories to Manage Weight
- University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center: Diabetes: Low Blood Sugar
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights