The idea of an easy, on-the-go snack that is high in sugar but actually good for you may seem unlikely, but one tiny box of raisins may be all you need for extra energy when starting a weight loss plan. Although the classic, tiny raisin box does not appear to hold much, it's actually a treasure trove of antioxidants and vitamins and can help you fend off hunger while meeting that 5-a-day fruit guideline.
As with any fruit, raisins will never be considered a "bad food." In fact, for their size, raisins pack a lot of nutrition into a tiny package. Assisting in everything from lowering blood pressure to providing a natural source of energy, when part of a healthy diet, raisins are beneficial to healthiness.
The benefits of incorporating raisins into your diet seem almost endless. According to whfoods.com, raisins contribute to better bone health and, due to their high level of antioxidants, may protect against macular degeneration. They are high in potassium, low in sodium, which is good for a healthy heart. Also extremely high in fiber, raisins help to promote proper digestion and aid in keeping the colon healthy.
No fruit is bad for you; however, some are better when eaten in small doses. Raisins fall into this category as do their fruit relative—grapes. As a matter of fact, according to mypyramid.gov, 1/2 c. raisins is equivalent to 1 c. of many other fruits. Don't let this discourage you because raisins are a natural food source they are nutritious.
While they are high in calories and carboyhdrates, 1 c. equals 493 calories and 131g carbs, raisins are fine to consume if you are an active person. In fact for athletes or those who work out daily, raisins provide energy and solid carbohydrates to burn.
As far as raisins and weight loss for those just starting out, a recent study at the University of Conneticut showed that reaching for a packet of raisins to ward off hunger was beneficial to those trying to lose weight. When those in the study integrated raisins into their daily diet plan as a snack, the raisins raised leptin levels and worked as an appetite suppressant in between meals. The study did find that raisins should be eaten in moderation because they are high in calories and sugar.
Those looking to lose weight fast or by only using one food source may be disappointed to know that this little super food is high in sugar and calories. But raisins promote regularity through fiber, which is helpful in weight loss. Fruit will not make you fat when eaten in moderation and when, like other foods, they are incorporated into a diet plan complete with exercise.