“A delicacy, a snack, with an elegant tea, are dry fruits a great way of losing your belly??” Dry fruits are known for being loaded with nutrients and extremely beneficial for your health. But aren’t dry fruits for weight loss contradictory? As they are known to be loaded with calories and fats, dry fruits are often thought to be bad for weight loss. In this article we debunk this myth and tell you why you should include dry fruits in your weight loss diet.Contents:
First, let’s understand what the term dry fruits encompasses. Dry fruits often refer to fruits that are dried in order to be preserved, such as raisins, dates, apricots, etc. However, in India, nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. are also categorised as dry fruits.
As dry fruits are made from drying or dehydrating fruits, they often have a more concentrated nutrition content when compared to fresh fruits. Hence, to say that dry fruits are nutritious is an understatement. They are a rich source of healthy nutrients and antioxidants which makes them highly beneficial for your overall health.
Dry fruits are beneficial for weight loss in multiple ways. This is because of the following reasons:
Dry fruits are high in fibre content. Fibre takes longer to get digested when compared to other macronutrients. It also absorbs water and swells up, which makes you feel fuller for longer. Some portion of the fibre from dry fruits may also be partially undigested, which also reduces the number of calories, carbs and fats absorbed into your bloodstream.
Dry fruits are packed with polyphenols, which have potent antioxidant properties. This can help protect your body against oxidative stress and inflammation, which reduces your risk of developing chronic conditions including obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, PCOS, etc.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can make fat cells (adipocytes) larger and change the way they respond to food. They can also trigger insulin resistance in your cells, which affects the way your body processes sugar. Thus, oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to obesity, and the antioxidants in dry fruits can help counteract this.
Studies suggest that dry fruits may boost the number of calories burnt when your body is at rest. As per studies, these results are limited to people who are obese or overweight.
The following is a list of dry fruits for weight loss that are easily available and can amp up your weight loss game when included in a balanced diet.
Though high in fat and calories, nuts are low in carbs and are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. They also have a good amount of fibre and protein which makes them good for weight loss.
Some of the nuts beneficial for weight loss include:
Studies show that the protein in almonds helps build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and burns more calories.
Calories: 579 kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.6 g | Sugars: 4.35 g | Fibre: 12.5 g | Fats: 49.9 g | Protein: 21.2 g
About 5 to 8 almonds, either raw or soaked.
Cashews are high in magnesium and are a decent source of protein and fibre, which can help boost your metabolism and induce your body to burn more calories.
Calories: 553 kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.2 g | Sugars: 5.91 g | Fibre: 3.3 g | Fats: 43.8 g | Protein: 18.2 g
About 4 to 5 cashews, either raw or soaked.
The protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts can help control your appetite and may aid in weight loss by reducing your frequent hunger pangs and overeating.
Calories: 654 kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.7 g | Sugars: 2.61 g | Fibre: 6.7 g | Fats: 65.2 g | Protein: 15.2 g
About 2 to 3 walnuts or 4 to 6 walnut halves, consumed raw.
Though high in carbohydrates and fats, studies have found that pistachios may actually help you lose weight and contribute to a lower body mass index (BMI), especially in people who are overweight or obese.
Calories: 560 kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.2 g | Sugars: 7.66 g | Fibre: 10.6 g | Fats: 45.3 g | Protein: 20.2 g
About 8 to 10 pistachios, either raw or dry roasted.
Dates or khajoor are undoubtedly high in sugar and carb content, but they are an excellent source of fibre as well. Fibre is essential for better digestion. As mentioned, foods rich in fibre take longer to digest which is good for a weight loss diet. This is because fibre promotes the feeling of fullness.
Also, as dates are rich in sugar, they make a great natural sweetener and replacement for sugar, jaggery or honey. Dates are a low calorie dry fruit and have fewer calories than sugar, jaggery and honey. They also have a low glycaemic index (GI) score, it can be eaten as a post-meal dessert or whenever you have a craving for something sweet.
Calories: 282 kcal | Carbohydrates: 75 g | Sugars: 63.4 g | Fibre: 8 g | Fats: 0.39 g | Protein: 2.45 g
About 3 to 4 dates.
Despite their high carbohydrate and sugar content, some studies have shown that raisins may be one of the best dried fruits for weight loss. This is because regular consumption of raisins can alter the way your body produces hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that promotes a feeling of fullness and inhibits hunger. Thus, including raisins in your diet can help in weight loss.
Calories: 301 kcal | Carbohydrates: 80 g | Sugars: 65.7 g | Fibre: 3.3 g | Fats: 0.2 g | Protein: 3.28 g
About 8 to 10 raisins, raw or soaked.
If you are trying to lose weight, you can have dry fruits in the following ways:
When eating dry fruits for weight loss, try to avoid eating dry fruits and nuts that are:
All of these can add to the calorie count and hinder your weight loss efforts.
Most nutritionists suggest eating dry fruits in the early morning on an empty stomach after soaking them overnight. Soaking dry fruits ensures that the fibre in them is softened and that the nutrients in the dry fruits and nuts are properly absorbed.
Dry fruits and nuts can also be eaten as a snack in the evening or between meals as they help satiate your hunger and promote fullness for a longer time when compared to processed or sugary foods.
Dry fruits no doubt have a high nutritional value, but consuming more than the recommended quantities per day can cause unwanted complications such as:
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