Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about figs, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Figs are a kind of fruit available all around the world. You can eat figs raw on their own, dried, or as an ingredient in other dishes. Figs are not the most popular fruit there is but eating it can offer some health benefits.
While there are better fruits, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole figs. Find out just how good figs are and how to eat them when trying to lose weight.
Micronutrients in figs
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in figs.
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 raw figs provides you with approximately (1):
- Potassium: 7% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the DV
- Manganese: 6% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to most whole foods.
If you want to add a lot more vitamins and minerals to your diet, figs are not your best food choice.
Figs do contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in figs for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Figs contain around 2.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
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 figs you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Do figs help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not figs deserve a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in figs.
Figs contain 74 calories per 100 grams. 69 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (19.2 g per 100 grams of which 2.9 g fiber).
Figs are not great for low carb diets like the keto diet due to their carbohydrate content.
The amount of calories in figs is not that high in general. There are quite a few lower-calorie fruits but also a few higher-calorie fruits. Compared to many vegetables figs slightly higher in calories.
That being said, figs are still generally a low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more figs, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like figs you don’t have to go out of your way to force them into your daily eating habits, figs are not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating figs, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Figs are generally not fattening.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to figs. These inviduals should avoid this food anyway.
How many figs can you eat a day?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Figs don’t provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals so you definitely need other nutritious foods as well.
If you have consumed enough vitamins and minerals you can see how many figs still fit within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
How to eat figs for weight loss
Figs make for a great snack, raw on their own, but this fruit also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with figs:
If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid fig juice, most dessert recipes with figs, and figs on top of pizza.
Are dried figs good for weight loss?
Another popular way to eat figs is dried. Drying fruit basically involves removing its water content and keeping all the other nutrients.
This does increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber per 100 grams but also the number of calories. Dried figs can contain up to 249 calories per 100 grams (2). One dried fig (8g) contains about 21 calories. On top of that many brands add additional sugar and sweeteners.
Water is also very helpful for losing weight. It helps you feel fuller and increases the number of calories you burn.
You can most likely get away with some dried figs but in general, it’s better to stay away from dried fruit if you are trying to lose weight.