This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Choosing the right weight loss foods can be overwhelming. What about grapes, are they good for weight loss or are they fattening?
Grapes are berries that are grown in warmer climates. You might have visited or seen a vineyard before. This is a collection of grape-bearing vines.
Grapes have been consumed by humans for thousands of years, partly in the form of wine. They come in different colors, shapes and tastes.
Micronutrients in grapes
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in grapes.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of grapes provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 18% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 18% of the DV
- Copper: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Thiamin: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. Grapes contain a decent amount of vitamin K and C. For the other vitamins and minerals they are a bit lacking compared to a lot of other whole foods.
Other compounds in grapes
Grapes also contain a wide variety of other compounds that can be beneficial for your health (2).
Among the different kinds of anti-oxidants in fruit you can find resveratrol, a compound that is getting more and more popular due to its promising effects on the human body (3).
A small study with 10 people found that resveratrol may increase metabolic rate (4).
Resveratrol also might help with reducing insulin resistance (5). This is helpful for controlling blood sugar levels. The downstream effects of that can help weight loss.
The problem is that resveratrol is only present in tiny amounts compared to the quantities research uses. In reality you will only get a fraction of the portion used in research. The presence of these compounds is a great bonus but you can’t really use it as a big argument in favor of grapes for weight loss.
Fiber in grapes for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Grapes contain around 0.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams. This is not a lot compared to a lot of other whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in grapes you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a little bit not that much.
Are grapes good or bad for your weight loss?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in grapes.
69 calories per 100 gram. 65.3 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (18.1 g per 100 grams of which 0.9 g fiber).
Grapes will probably not fit in a low carb diet and almost certainly not in a ketogenic diet.
The amount of calories in grapes is not very high. A slightly higher level than most fruits, and more than most vegetables.
Compared to a processed snack, high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates, grapes are most likely a better option. Compared to other whole foods, grapes are a bit less great for weight loss.
If you really love grapes you can still have them and lose weight. If you don’t care the much about them, other foods can be better for losing weight.
How many grapes should you eat a day to lose weight?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing. If it’s about the choice between an unhealthy snack and grapes, grapes are always better for weight loss.
There are however a lot of other whole foods that are better for weight loss.
If you have consumed enough micronutrients you can see how many grapes still fit within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day. There might not be any room for grapes too.
When should you eat grapes to lose weight?
The calories in grapes are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is very important for your weight loss and health.
That’s why you preferably want to consume grapes earlier in the day or at least not right before bed or at night.
Is there a difference between red and green grapes?
Most of the nutrients in red and green grapes are similar. One point of difference is the anti-oxidant contents.
While there are many different kinds of red grapes, most varieties contain more antioxidants than green grapes (6).
Different ways to eat grapes
Regular grapes in their whole food form can be a good addition to your weight loss diet. There are also other ways you can eat grapes. Not all of them are great so make sure you eat grapes the right way for weight loss.
Raisins are dried grapes. This means that their nutrients are about the same as grapes minus the water. Per 100 grams this leads to a higher amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber but also calories.
100 grams of raisins is about 299 calories compared to grapes which are 69 per 100 grams.
Even if you take the extra nutrients into account, raisins are not great for weight loss. A food like avocado is better for weight loss on most of the important points. Like all foods you can have some dried fruit, here raisins, in moderation but it’s easy to overeat on this food.
Wine is maybe the most popular way to eat grapes. One bottle of wine requires around 600-800 squished grapes (7).
Red wine contains around 85 calories per 100 grams (8). The alcohol in wine is also not good for your liver. Even though alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, your sleep quality will be a lot worse.
You can most likely still lose weight with a glass of red wine every once in a while but this drink will make it harder.
Grapes in smoothies
Smoothies are basically multiple ingredients mashed together. The nutrient content stays the same.
That means grapes are alright to put in smoothies but there are better ingredients too. If like the way they influence the taste of your smoothie you can add them. If not your weight loss can befit from using other ingredients.
The best way to eat grapes to lose weight
This makes eating grapes in their regular form and adding them to smoothies the best for weight loss.
You should see raisins and red wine more like things that slow down your weight loss.
Grapes vs other popular fruits for weight loss
A common successful weight loss technique is making food swaps. Replacing one food with a better one for losing weight. How do grapes compare to some other popular fruits?
The first comparison is with apples. Apples are lower in vitamins and minerals but also lower in calories (52 g / 100 grams) and a lot higher in fiber (2.4 g /100 grams). This makes apples in general a better choice than grapes for losing weight.
The second comparison is versus grapefruit. Grapefruit is higher in vitamins, lower in calories (42 g / 100 grams) and higher in fiber (1.6 g /100 grams). This makes grapefuit in general a better choice than grapes for weight loss.
How can grapes help you lose weight?
Grapes can certainly help you lose weight by filling you up with mostly water and fiber. They don’t add a lot of calories to your diet.
Grapes are certainly better than, let’s say, cookies or other processed snacks high in sugar. So if your choice is between these and grapes, the latter are your best bet for weight loss and health.
That being said it’s possible to get most of the weight loss benefits from grapes and more by eating other vegetables and fruits.
This mainly depends on the rest of your diet. Grapes themselves are usually a decent addition to your diet when consumed with moderation. With around 69 calories per 100 grams, you would have to consume a big amount of grapes to put on weight.
Grapes contain a fairly low amount of calories per 100 grams (69 calories). This means they can reduce hunger while trying to lose belly fat. If this is one of your main struggling points grapes can be good for losing belly fat.
It’s unlikely that grapes will be the sole reason for belly fat. Due to their low-medium calorie content (69 calories per 100 grams). You would have to eat a lot to gain belly fat.
Yes, there might be a small loss of nutrients while freezing. Even so, in general, frozen grapes are just as good as regular grapes for weight loss.