Are Raisins Good For Weight Loss? Nutritional Value & More 2024

are raisins good for weight loss
Raisins can be part of a weight loss diet. Photo: Prostock-rsooll/Shutterstock

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Many people either love or hate raisins. However, if you love this quick and easy snack, you might wonder: Are raisins good for weight loss? Can you still enjoy this convenient treat?

While most dried fruits are considered a no-go in a healthy weight loss plan, raisins can actually have a few weight loss benefits. When consumed in moderation, they can help you obtain adequate nutrition while also providing a delicious snack.

With raisins, something to consider is the amount of sugar per day to lose weight. Unfortunately, these small bites are jam-packed with sugar, meaning you need to be conscious about including them in your overall plan.

In this article, we will take a closer look at whether or not raisins are good for weight loss and if they have any health benefits. So, let’s dive in.

Are Raisins Good For A Diet?

Raisins can fit on a calorie-restricted diet if used in the correct portion size to fit in with calorie goals. Raisins can then be enjoyed as part of a healthy weight-loss diet. Too many raisins may increase calorie and sugar consumption, hindering your weight loss efforts.

Are Raisins Good For Weight Loss?

are raisins good for weight loss
Raisins offer a delicious and satisfying snack. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Compared to a chocolate bar, raisins are a much better way to satisfy your sweet tooth when trying to lose weight. While the two may contain similar amounts of sugar, raisins pack a bit more in terms of nutritional value. This means they can be part of a clean eating plan for weight loss.

So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of raisins for weight loss.

They Are High In Fiber

Dietary fiber is highly beneficial as part of a weight loss diet. And raisins are high in dietary fiber, which can offer significant benefits.

Soluble fiber, like psyllium,[1] forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract when combined with water. This means it can slow down digestion, keeping you fuller for longer. In turn, this may lead to a lower calorie intake.

In fact, research suggests consuming water with your dried fruit helps with appetite control[2] and deters overeating.

For weight loss to occur, a calorie deficit[3] needs to take place. This allows the body to burn more energy than it expends.

Research also links soluble fiber intake to a decreased BMI, reduced waist circumference, and an overall reduction in body weight.[4]

Fiber can also help control blood sugar levels.[5] Fiber is able to do this by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. In turn, this can lead to steady energy, limited blood sugar spikes and crashes, and fewer calories consumed.

Additionally, fiber may improve the gut microbiome.[6] Research shows this may impact weight gain and weight loss[7] through nutrient metabolism and energy expenditure. A healthy gut is further linked to reduced inflammation,[8] which may help prevent various chronic diseases.

They Offer A Healthy Source Of Carbs

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. Since raisins contain fiber, they offer a healthy carbohydrate option. As previously mentioned, this may prevent the natural sugars from being absorbed quickly into the body and keep you fuller for longer.

It’s worth noting here that a healthy diet for weight loss should consist of some carbs. While many suggest going low-carb, you’ll likely experience cravings[9] without including some in your regular diet.

Additionally, these carbs may support your body during exercise, which should be considered as part of any healthy weight loss plan.

They May Support Heart Health

Raisins[10] contain beneficial nutrients for heart health, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Ensuring you get enough of these nutrients may contribute to a reduced risk of hypertension,[11] also known as high blood pressure. It may further reduce stroke risk,[12] specifically among men.

Potassium, in particular, may also play a role in regulating arterial stiffness. In animal studies, research demonstrates that low potassium intake may be more likely to lead to calcified arteries.[13]

Calcium also regulates heart function,[14] particularly the pumping action of the heart. Meanwhile, magnesium supports proper muscle function.[15]

These nutritional components can, again, support the body during exercise, which is often incorporated as part of a sustainable weight loss regime.

They May Contribute To Enhanced Bone Health

Calcium is an important piece in maintaining strong and healthy bones. And yes, consuming raisins may help! Due to raisins’ calcium content, they may help support optimal bone density.[16]

However, eating raisins likely won’t be enough for adequate calcium per day. This is especially true since eating too many raisins could tip your sugar intake over the edge. Thus, ensure you get adequate calcium from other sources, such as milk, yogurt, or cheese.

They May Improve Oral Health

The consumption of sucrose is accepted as a link to increased dental caries.[17] However, the natural sugar in raisins consists of glucose and fructose. This means that they may be less likely to cause dental disease.

Additionally, since raisins contain calcium, they may contribute to improved oral health in some ways. One study even indicated an association between increased dietary calcium intake and reduced periodontitis among women.[18] Periodontitis is a gum infection that can lead to serious damage surrounding the teeth.

Oleanolic acid​ found in raisins may further suppress certain types of bacteria[19] that can lead to oral health issues and diseases.

While this particular benefit isn’t directly linked to weight gain or loss, oral health is an important aspect of overall health. Research indicates that poor oral health can impact the gut[20] negatively. Taking this a step further, poor gut health is associated with weight gain.[7]

The Nutritional Value Of Raisins

As you may already know, raisins are dried seedless grapes. They are frequently eaten raw, as well as used for various cooking and baking applications. 

50 raisins, or 26 grams of raisins,[10] contain:

  • Calories: 78.
  • Protein: 1 gram.
  • Carbohydrates: 20 grams.
  • Fiber: 1 gram.
  • Glucose: 8 grams.
  • Fructose: 9 grams.
  • Calcium: 16 milligrams.
  • Magnesium: 9 mg.
  • Phosphorous: 26 mg.
  • Potassium: 193 mg.
  • Sodium: 7 mg.
  • Choline: 3 mg.

Raisins further contain traces of:

  • Iron.
  • Zinc.
  • Copper.
  • Selenium.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Thiamine.
  • Niacin.
  • Folate.
  • Vitamin K.
  • And fatty acids.

In many ways, raisins can support your health and potentially reduce belly fat as part of a holistic weight management approach. To avoid unwanted weight gain, it’s further important to consider your whole diet. To promote good digestion, drink the water that soaked raisins are soaked in.

While weight loss supplements and protein shakes for weight loss may help, there is no replacement for a whole-food diet. Ensure you incorporate plenty of nutrient-dense foods, like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Exercise and stress management strategies should also be considered.

How To Eat Raisins For Weight Loss

Raisins can be added to your list of healthy snacks for weight loss, as long as you consume them in moderation. So, how can you do this?

First, it’s important to account for your total daily sugar consumption. Fitting your raisin snack into this is crucial to avoid eating too much sugar, which may hinder your weight loss efforts.

With that in mind, here are some ways to enjoy raisins as part of a balanced diet:

  • Top off oatmeal with a handful of raisins.
  • Enjoy them in a salad.
  • Eat them as part of a homemade trail mix.
  • Make a homemade granola with raisins and nuts.
  • Top off celery and peanut butter with a few raisins.
  • Mix raisins into your popcorn.
  • Enjoy raisins on top of yogurt and fruit.

Raisin water may further be a way to enjoy the benefits of raisins. For this, bring water to a boil, then soak raisins overnight in it. This drink is thought to improve digestion; however, there isn’t a ton of evidence supporting this.

So, how long does it take to lose weight anyway? Well, this depends on your goals and many other factors, including body composition, physical activity, diet, and sleep hygiene.

Whether or not you include raisins is up to you. Yet, the time it takes to lose weight will come down to how much you have to lose and your dedication to the process.

Conclusion

So, are raisins good for a diet? This depends on the amount you consume.

Raisins offer a few benefits that support healthy weight loss. Yet, eating too many may cause you to over consume sugar.

They are also no miracle cure. Healthy weight loss comes down to a holistic approach, including a balanced diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. If you have questions about nutrition and its role in weight loss, consult your registered dietitian nutritionist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many raisins should you eat per day to lose weight?

This may depend on the individual. Enjoying raisins in moderation is important to avoid weight gain and high sugar consumption.

Are raisins high in calories?

This depends on your portion size. Raisins can be high in calories if consumed in high amounts. If you want to lose weight, you will want to ensure the amount of raisins you eat fits into your daily calories.

Do raisins have a lot of sugar?

Raisins are high in sugar content. While they offer natural sweetness and many essential nutrients, enjoying them in moderation and small portions is crucial.

Are raisins OK to eat on a diet?

Yes, raisins can be enjoyed on a diet. Again, you should watch your portion size and enjoy these as a healthy snack in moderation.

+ 20 Sources

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krista Bugden worked as a Kinesiologist at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for over five years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics (Human Movement) from the University of Ottawa and uses her… See More