This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
You have many food options when putting together your weight loss diet. One of them is raisins, are they good for weight loss?
Almost everyone knows what raisins are and in what kinds of dishes they can be used. But how good are they when it comes to health and losing weight?
Dried fruits like raisins are usually not that good for weight loss. Find out the nutrition details and how they compare to other foods.
How are raisins made?
Raisins are simply dried grapes, so they are categorized as a dried fruit.
The process to make raisins is very simple. You take some grapes and expose them to enough heat so that the water in the grapes evaporates. This can be done both with heat from the sun or in devices like an oven. There are certain substances you can dip the grapes in to make water removal easier.
There are different raisin varieties with varying nutrition facts but this article will mainly look at “regular” raisins. Towards the end of the article, you will see how regular raisins compare to currants, a kind of seedless raisin and sultanas, a yellow variety of raisins.
Micronutrients in raisins
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in raisins.
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 seeded raisins provides you with approximately (1):
- Potassium: 24% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Copper: 15% of the DV
- Iron: 14% of the DV
- Manganese: 13% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
- Thiamin: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 7% of the DV
- Niacin: 6% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The individual amounts of vitamins and minerals are mostly not that large compared to many other whole foods. That being said, there are many different vitamins and minerals present in raisins in nice amounts.
Raisins also contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It’s not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in raisins for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Raisins contains around 6.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a great amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods. It is worth noting that there are also other foods with similar or even higher fiber contents.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. 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 raisins you can reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Do raisins help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in raisins.
Seeded raisins contain 296 calories per 100 grams. 283 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (78.5 g per 100 grams of which 6.8 g fiber).
Raisins are generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in raisins is relatively high compared to many whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Most of these calories also come from carbohydrates which are, besides fiber, generally considered the least filling macronutrient.
You are adding valuable fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet but there are many foods that are more filling for less calories. So with raisins in your diet it becomes easier to overeat on calories compared to quite a few whole foods.
Compared to other refined foods, raisins are probably often better for weight loss. It depends on what you compare this food with.
Like with all foods you can most likely implement some raisins into your diet and still lose weight. That being said, there are probably better food choices than raisins if you are looking to lose weight.
Raisins vs certain foods for weight loss
You now know how good raisins are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other foods? Find out how good raisins are for weight loss vs currants (seedless raisins), sultanas (yellow raisins), grapes, and prunes.
Raisins vs currants
A currant can both mean a certain plant with berries or raisins from a seedless grape variety. The comparison is with the seedless raisin.
If you’re only looking at calories, currants contain about the same amount of calories. Raisins contain around 296 calories per 100 grams vs the 299 calories per 100 grams of currants (2).
The difference between the two starts showing up in the amount of fiber. Raisins contain around 6.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, currants 3.7 grams. Lastly, these 2 foods contain about the same amount of vitamins and minerals in total.
Even though their calorie count is about the same, regular raisins are most likely better because of the big difference in fiber.
Raisins vs sultanas
The yellow raisins, called sultanas, are another popular comparison. Sultanas are about the same in calories, 302 calories per 100 grams (3).
Again there is a difference in the amount of fiber present. Sultanas have about 4 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs the 6.8 grams of raisins. In terms of the amount of vitamins and minerals, raisins and sultanas are very similar.
The difference in fiber again makes a difference when it comes to losing weight. This makes raisins better than sultanas for weight loss.
Raisins vs grapes
By drying you basically remove most of the water content of a food. This makes it so all the nutrients are present in larger amounts per 100 grams.
Grapes contain around 0.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A lot lower than the 6.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams in raisins. The same goes when it comes to the quantity of vitamins and minerals. Raisins have a lot more.
Consuming water is usually beneficial for weight loss. It helps you burn more calories and feel fuller. If you want to lose weight, grapes are most likely better for weight loss than raisins.
Raisins vs prunes
Prunes are lower in calories, 240 calories per 100 grams (5).
Prunes contain 7.1 grams of fiber so slightly higher than raisins. Prunes also contain slightly more vitamins and minerals than raisins.
All in all, prunes are most likely better for weight loss than raisins.
Chart of raisins vs other foods
There are some interesting differences in nutritional content that will most likely matter when it comes to weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for raisins (1), currants (2), sultanas (3), grapes (4), and prunes (5) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Raisins||Currants||Sultanas||Grapes||Prunes|
|Calories||296 calories||299 calories||302 calories||69 calories||240 calories|
|Fiber||6.8 g||3.7 g||4.0 g||0.9 g||7.1 g|
How to eat raisins for weight loss
Like with most whole foods there is a wide variety of ways to implement raisins into your diet. Not all of these options are as great for weight loss.
Try to avoid baked goods with raisins like cookies, bread, muffins, etc. These are usually high in calories and not very filling. This combination makes a food not very helpful when you are trying to lose weight.