The Paleo diet is quite an easy one to follow.
You got your meats (the grass-fed ones, of course), your fish, your vegetables, your fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils.
So if we take a look at that list we don’t even have to check the forbidden foods, but are raisins the forbidden fruit? There are many discussions on the subject, but we’re here to end them all and give you a straight answer (the arguments at the bar with your paleo friends are still allowed though).
With all that said, it’s about time to get this thing on the road and possibly get you a fistful of gloriously sweet raisins to munch on. So – Can you eat raisins on Paleo?
Related Post: Do Raisins Go Bad?
Can You Eat Raisins On Paleo?
The straight answer is – YES.
Raisins are just dried grapes after all, and fruit is not going to affect you negatively while on the paleo diet.
With that said, there are a couple of things that we’ll have to go through just so we can know the whole story.
If we take a look at the list of paleo-friendly foods, you might just run to the store and get ten bags of raisins, just so you can always have a healthy snack at your disposal.
As we already mentioned, raisins are a fruit. Besides that, making them is an incredibly simple process considering that all you need is the sun. But it could be a bit more complicated than that.
The main thing that makes us paleo folks suspicious is the sugar content. Sure, the fruit is filled with sugars in general, but raisins are a bit different.
We’ll get to that part in a minute; let’s take a look at the nutritional values right now, ao we can see the whole picture.
Before looking at the nutritional values, we must mention something that a lot of people don’t think about while buying dried food.
Any dried fruit that you buy is still that same fruit but in a wrinkled form. So whatever nutritional values you had with water – you’ll have without it.
So whenever you think about buying dried fruit, just imagine yourself telling a bartender:
“A glass of grapes – hold the water.“
Here is the nutrition data table for raisins:
Let’s mention this at the start – the calories that raisins contain are not the most dramatic thing about them but they are not exactly cucumber levels.
One hundred grams of the stuff will fill your calorie intake as much as a small healthy meal will. But that’s just the calories; diving just a bit deeper shows a completely different story.
The cholesterol is at zero so no worries about that and the fat and protein levels aren’t even worth talking about. If you’re hitting the gym and are looking for an energy kick, look away. The real energy comes from a high level of healthy fat contents and all raising will give you is – sugar.
Mind Your Sugars
Now let’s get something straight. The sugar levels in raisins are not THAT crazy. Munching on candy will leave your body in much worse shape than some dried-out grapes.
But this is Paleo that we are talking about here, you won’t even look at the candy, the kinds of foods that are the real trouble makers.
The reason behind the sugar level in raisins is quite simple. The sugar levels in grapes are somewhat high in comparison to their size. And raisins have the same amounts, considering that nothing is added in the process of drying out fruit.
So it’s the same amount of sugar – just in a smaller package, and THAT Is where the real trouble is.
Sure, the calories are not crazy and the sugar is high, but it’s not some ungodly amount. What is unnatural is how much you can pack in your mouth at once while still having the feeling that you haven’t gone nuts with the sugar.
Health Risks Vs. The Benefits of Raisins
Now you might be thinking that raisins are the cause of all the problems in the world after the rant we just went on, but worry not – there are good sides to the raisin coin.
Taking Care Of Digestion
Raisins are famous for helping with any digestion problems that you might have.
They contain a high amount of healthy soluble fiber that can aid in many stomach problems and help the body regulate digestion.
Raisins truly have a LOT of substances packed in such a small form factor. Other than the sugars and fibers, there is plenty of iron, copper, and a lot of vitamins in them.
The positive effect in the presence of vitamins is something we don’t have to dive deep into. Vitamins are organic compounds that pretty much help your body stay alive, but copper and iron are the real heroes here.
High amounts of copper and iron in foods can help your body regulate amounts of red blood cells – which is how Anemia is stopped in its tracks.
Preventing Heart Disease
Some studies have shown that raisins can help with the prevention of heart disease.
The science is simple – raisins are very low in sodium while being high in potassium. This combination results in lower blood pressure and helps blood vessels in your body by making their jobs a bit easier.
Hey, everybody needs a break sometimes, even blood vessels.
Protecting Your Vision
Raisins contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help cells in your eyes with the danger of free radical damage.
Raisin’ Your Skin Care Routine To A New Level
These dried grapes aren’t done with fixing up your body just yet. Raisins contain many substances that can help your skin stay young and look amazing.
Vitamin C, selenium, and zinc are the main protagonists in this part of the story – check the ingredients of any of your skin care creams and you’ll find the same names on the back. So if you want to implement some snacks into your skincare routine, we got exactly what you’re looking for.
Now you must be thinking that we lost our minds. What could be THAT bad in raisins if there are so many benefits to your health? Well, one word (and we already mentioned it) – sugar.
Keep Minding Your Sugars
We know, we know – again with the sugars. But this time, you have a lot more information at your disposal if you’ve been paying attention.
You see, all those benefits that we mentioned can be derailed with just one word, and that word is – surprise, surprise: sugar.
The low amounts of sodium and high amounts of potassium help prevent heart disease? Well, a high intake of sugar has been proven to cause cardiovascular problems. Not only that, the number of deaths from these problems is the most alarming part.
Your skin health might be at risk too, considering that too much sugar can lead to acne and other problems.
We could go on, but the point is that raisins are kind of a contradiction when it comes to health risks and benefits.
On one hand, they are incredibly good at helping your body function in many necessary ways. But much on them a little too much, and all that goes down the drain and you have the exact opposite effect of the ones you were looking for.
Can You Eat Raisins On Paleo – Final Words
The Paleo diet is simple, that’s what we started with. If you were to just take a look at the nutritional values you’d think you have a decision cut out for you. But raisins are a tricky snack.
We are all aware that no diet is as easy as just eating whatever you think of at any time of the day. Discipline – that’s the word of the day. And raisins test that discipline like no other snack.
The little rascals are so sweet and tasty that we couldn’t even blame you for going through two full bags of the stuff right before opening this article! But moderation is key, and if you manage to have discipline while eating them, your paleo diet and your health will be nice and steady.
We don’t even have to recommend some alternative for raisins, they really are good for you, and we see no point in switching them for something else. Just make sure you keep your cool while eating, and you can enjoy this snack all you want!