Are grapes fattening or good for weight loss?
Grapes are my second favourite type of fruit, falling short of only mangoes. Their naturally occurring sugar helps satisfy my sweet tooth in a much healthier manner than gulping down a bar of chocolate would. I usually eat them on their own or use them in smoothies such as this one.
Grapes are by no means a weight loss miracle, however if eaten in moderate quantities they can definitely be added to a weight loss diet that contains other healthy foods.
1 cup of grapes contains:
You will notice on our healthy food finder tool that weight for weight, grapes have more calories than other types of fruit such as grapefruit, watermelon and oranges. However, the difference is very small. At 62 calories per cup, grapes are considered to be a low calorie food.
How grapes can help you manage or lose weight
Here are some of the ways that grapes can help you manage your weight.
They are low in calories
As stated above, grapes are low in calories and when it comes to proper weight management, calories matter.
Calories are units of energy and all foods that you eat contain them. However they can differ greatly, depending on the type of food.
For example, 100 g of Brazil nuts contain 628 calories / 100g.
The same weight of spinach contains only 23 calories!
The reason for this large difference is because the spinach contains a lot of water (which has 0 calories), whereas the Brazil nuts contain a lot of fat (and fat is very calorie dense).
If you are trying to manage your weight, you should take some time to think about the number of calories you are consuming (from food) versus the number that you are expending (via exercise).
When you want to lose weight, the number of calories you get from food should be lower than the number you use up throughout the day.
When you do this, your body will use its fat reserves as a source of energy, to make up for the calorie deficit.
If you want to gain weight on the other hand, you need to consume more calories than you are using up.
There is no set number though, everybody has different calorie requirements.
This is because the number of calories you need is largely dependent on your age, gender, current weight, height and activity levels.
You can use the calculator below to estimate your calorie requirements, depending on your goals.
This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.
For example a 50 year old lady who weighs 85 kg, is 180 cm tall and does little to no exercise will need to consume around 1500 calories to begin losing weight.
On the other hand, a 40 year old man who weighs 75 kg, is 170 cm tall and exercises 4 times a week on average will need to consume almost 2000 calories to start losing weight.
(The larger the calorie deficit you create, the more weight you lose. It is important to note that you need to eat a minimum number of calories in order to remain healthy.)
The point I am trying to make here is that even though calorie requirements may vary, eating a reasonable amount of grapes will help with your weight loss efforts. On a 1500 calorie diet, one cup of grapes will only account for 4% of the total amount.
Their water and fiber content
Grapes contain around 80% water and therefore are a great source of “edible water”. A lot of times people confuse being thirsty for being hungry and so end up eating much more than they should.
The water content in grapes will help re-hydrate your body and ward off hunger for a little while. The consumption of water has been scientifically proven to help boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.
Grapes also have a little bit of dietary fiber in them and fiber has been shown to help keep you feeling full. This means you eat less throughout the day. Do keep in mind that their fiber content is minuscule and so the effect will be very small.
Again, as mentioned above, grapes are not a weight loss miracle food and eating them will not cause you to shed off pounds of fat. But at the same time, making small changes to your diet such as swapping candy (which has no water and no natural fiber) for grapes do add up in the long run.
The fairly high sugar content in grapes means they have a very pleasant & sweet taste. This is a good thing because grapes can help satisfy your sweet tooth if you have one.
People generally reach out for unhealthy junk foods like ice cream, candy and cakes when trying to satisfy their sweet tooth. However, these foods are full of fat, artificial sugar and cholesterol. They also tend to be very high in calories.
For example, 100 g of chocolate cake contains around 370 calories, 20 g of fat (6 g saturated), 22 mg of cholesterol and 40 g of sugar. Compare that to 100 g of grapes which contains virtually no fat or cholesterol and only a sixth of the calories.
So before reaching out for that piece of cake, no matter how small, remember that there are always healthier alternatives.
Can grapes make you fat?
Any food, if eaten in abundance, will make you fat. But because grapes contain such few calories, you would have to eat a very large amount in order to begin putting on weight. This is of course speaking from a calorie perspective only.
At the same time you need to remember that grapes have a lot of sugar and so over indulging is definitely not ideal for your waist line.
The lesson here is portion management. Enjoy your grapes in a moderate amount and reap the weight loss and many health benefits they have to offer. Having one to two cups of grapes daily is not going to make you fat.
If you want to lose weight you need to stay in a calorie deficit, exercise regularly and make low calorie nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables a part of your diet. Grapes, if eaten in moderate amounts, can definitely help you lose weight.