Croutons can add some taste and crunch to dishes and satisfy your snack needs. Find out whether they are good for weight loss or fattening.
First of all, whether you lose weight or not does not only depend on one food. The other things you eat and other lifestyle habits you implement play big roles too.
That being said, compared to many foods, croutons are relatively fattening due to their high number of calories from suboptimal macronutrients.
They do contain a nice amount of fiber and protein which are nutrients that tend to be helpful for weight loss. That being said, this will generally not be enough to compensate for the high number of calories.
You do want to keep in mind that it is still possible to eat croutons and lose weight with a good diet and good habits in other lifestyle areas.
Calories in croutons
One of the first food nutrition details most people look at is the number of calories.
This is not the only important detail since the type of calories can influence your weight loss in different ways. That being said, this number does give you somewhat of an idea about whether or not croutons are fattening.
100 grams of one example of plain croutons contain around 407 calories (1).
Depending on the exact ingredients you use to make croutons, this number could vary. That being said, this is more or less what you can expect from most recipes.
Compared to most foods, especially the right ones, the 407 calories per 100 grams from croutons is a lot.
Many of these calories also come from the 68.4 grams of net carbohydrates in croutons. This means croutons are definitely not that keto-friendly.
Fiber in croutons
Another important nutrient for weight loss in any non-animal foods is fiber.
One example of plain croutons contains around 5.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams (1).
This is not necessarily enough to make up for the downsides but it is actually a relatively good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many foods.
Fiber tends to be helpful when losing weight for a few reasons. First of all, this nutrient helps you feel fuller without really adding absorbable calories to your diet.
Many people struggle with hunger and cravings when trying to lose weight. Fiber is often helpful to avoid these things.
Secondly, fiber influences how the nutrients you consume together with it get digested. For example, adding fiber to a carbohydrate-rich meal will generally reduce to what extent the meal raises your blood sugar.
In short, fiber tends to be helpful for losing weight. Croutons contain a nice amount of fiber (but keep in mind that this is not the only detail that matters).
Protein in croutons
Protein is another example of a nutrient that tends to be helpful for losing weight.
Similar to fiber, protein is generally a helpful nutrient for reducing hunger and cravings.
Besides that, protein also helps you build and preserve muscle.
How much you weigh plays an important role in how many calories you burn throughout the day. By adding or preserving mass in a healthy way with muscle, you use up more energy.
One example of plain croutons contains around 11.9 grams of protein per 100 grams (1).
There are a good amount of foods that contain more protein but at the same time, 11.9 grams of protein can still be considered above average.
Do croutons help you lose weight?
To lose weight you have to make it so your body requires more energy than is coming in from food. The first thing to note is that the other foods in your diet besides croutons and lifestyle habits will play a big role too.
That being said, there are still some general things you can say about how foods like croutons compare to other options out there.
While croutons will help you feel a bit fuller and help you consume more protein, they are still very high in calories compared to how filling they are.
The refined carbohydrates in croutons are also generally not the most helpful calories for losing weight.
Croutons will still be better than something like pure sugar but it is fair to say that they are generally more fattening than good for weight loss.
Can you eat croutons and lose weight?
At the same time, eating reasonable amounts of certain foods like croutons that are not helpful does not mean you can’t lose weight while eating them. Your other foods and lifestyle habits still matter a lot.
For example, if you eat a salad with the right ingredients, adding a few croutons will likely not undo all your weight loss efforts.
If you approach it right, you can definitely eat croutons and still lose weight.