Are Raisins (Dried Grapes) Keto-Friendly?

On a low carb Ketogenic diet, it is customary to avoid some fruits, especially dried fruits because they have exceptionally high carb counts. 

calories in raisins

How Many Carbs are in Raisins?

1 miniature 14 gram box of raisins contains 11 grams of carbs.
1 ounce or 28 grams (about 50 raisins) contains 21 grams of carbs.
100 grams of raisins contains 79 grams of carbs.

How Many Calories are in Raisins?

1 miniature 14 gram box of raisins contains 42 calories.
1 ounce or 28 grams (about 50 raisins) contains 78 calories.
100 grams of raisins contains 299 calories.

Nutrition Facts        

The following nutritional breakdown is based on a 14 gram miniature box of raisins (about 20 raisins):

Calories 42      % Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1.5 mg 0%
Potassium 104.9 mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 3%
Dietary fiber 0.5 g 2%
Sugar 8 g
Protein 0.4 g 0%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 1%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 0%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 1%

Origin of Raisins

History texts claim raisins were sun-dried from grapes as far back as 1490 B.C. In ancient times, humans discovered raisins when they happened upon some grapes drying on a vine.  

Centuries later, it was determined which grape variety would make the best raisins.  When Crusader Knight returned home from the Mediterranean, they introduced raisins to Europe and shipped throughout northern Europe.

By the 14th century, the Spanish perfected grape growing and raisins became a staple in European cuisine.  From there, Roman physicians prescribed raisins to cure many ailments and diseases.

Calories in raisins

In the 18th century, Spanish missionaries in Mexico settled in California and helped the farmers grow grapes for wine.  In 1876, an immigrant by the name of William Thompson grew a seedless variety of grape.  Today, 95% of California raisins are made from Thompson seedless grapes. 

California discovered the commercial potential of raisins by accident after a heatwave dried up all the grapes in their vineyards.  One enterprising businessman in San Francisco had the idea to advertise the dried grapes as “Peruvian Delicacies”.  The public ate it up…  And the rest, as they say, was history. 

Today, Fresno, California is known as the Raisin Capital of the World.

Health Benefits of Raisins

High in Fiber

Fibrous raisins help aid your digestion and keep you feeling you satiated for longer.  Eating foods that are high in fiber may help you to lose weight.  Dietary fiber also plays a role in decreasing LDL cholesterol levels.  

High in Calcium

Raisins are high in calcium, a mineral that is essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth.  Diets rich in calcium can prevent the development of osteoporosis.  It is especially important for menopausal women to get a good amount of calcium because they are most susceptible to osteoporosis.

Rich in Iron

Raisins are rich in iron, which assists your body in making red blood cells and helps carry oxygen to the cells of your body.  It is important to get an adequate amount of iron in your daily diet in order to prevent iron-deficiency, otherwise known as anemia.

A Powerhouse of Antioxidants

Raisins are a great source of naturally occurring chemicals called phytonutrients, such as phenols and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from your blood and may prevent cell and DNA damage that can lead to diseases like cancer.

Antimicrobial compounds

Did you know that eating raisins can actually keep your teeth and gums healthy?  Studies show that raisins contain phytochemicals; like oleanolic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, which could promote healthy teeth and gums. These phytochemicals fight the bacteria in your mouth that lead to cavities.

Interesting Facts About Raisins

Raisins in spoon, carbs in raisins
  • California is the top producer of raisins and grows half of the world’s supply of them. 
  • Raisins are best kept in the refrigerator. After the package has been opened they should be put in a sealed container and stored in a cool place, like the fridge to retain their color, flavor, and freshness.
  • The finest raisins hail from Malaga in Spain.
  • Golden raisins are made by treating the raisins with a lye solution, sometimes with lye and then burning sulfur, and sometimes with sulfur dioxide.
  • There are 1.2 million metric tons of raisins produced globally.

Ways to Enjoy Raisins

Raisins can be enjoyed right from the box, or they can be thrown into a variety of dishes. From breakfasts to desserts to savory dinners, there are countless possibilities. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate raisins into your diet:

  • as a salad topping
  • mixed into oatmeal
  • in yogurt
  • in granola or cereal
  • baked into delicious cookies, bread, and muffins
  • added to chicken salad

Related Questions:

Are raisins good for you?

Despite their small size, raisins are packed with energy and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  Raisins are naturally sweet and high in sugar and calories, but they’re beneficial to our health when eaten in moderation. In fact, raisins can aid digestion, boost iron levels, and keep your bones strong.

Raisins are also low in sodium and have almost no cholesterol.  Recent studies show the routine consumption of raisins might even lower blood pressure.

Is Raisin Bran cereal healthy?

Raisin bran is high in fiber, low in fat and provides about 190 calories for a 1-cup serving. Studies show that eating foods high in fiber and low in fat supports sustained weight loss. Raisin Bran can be a part of a healthy diet conducive for weight loss.

With that being said, if you are following a low carb diet, like the Keto diet, it is best to avoid this cereal. A 100 gram serving of Raisin Bran cereal with milk contains 37 grams of carbs, which would likely prevent ketosis.

Are raisins safe for diabetics?

Aside from enhancing heart health, raisins have a positive effect on reducing the risk of diabetes and improving blood sugar control of those with diabetes. 

Are raisins gluten-free?

Sun-Maid Raisins are naturally gluten-free.  At the company’s manufacturing plant where their raisins are processed, they do not process any dried-fruit products containing gluten. 

Do gin-soaked raisins help arthritis?

Gin soaked raisins are a popular folk remedy said to relieve the joint pain from arthritis.  Many people who suffer from Arthritis swear by the daily consumption of gin-soaked raisins.  There have been many claims that this folk remedy works.  Apparently, only the golden raisins, not the black ones, will work.  The recipe is simple.  Place the raisins into a container and cover them with gin. Store for a week or so until the gin is absorbed.  Eat 9 of the gin-soaked raisins a day to combat arthritis. It’s unclear why that number of raisins is recommended.

Although there have been no studies to date that prove the efficacy of using gin-soaked raisins to treat arthritis, many theories exist explaining why this folk remedy might actually have some value.  Some think it’s the sulfur used in the process of making golden raisins.  Golden raisins are mechanically dried and then exposed to sulfur dioxide to retain their gold color.  The sulfur prevents oxidation and caramelization.

Some believe the juniper berries in the gin explains the reason why gin soaked raisins on Arthritis pain might actually work.   Others believe it is the combination of the sulfur from the raisins with the anti-inflammatory juniper berries that explain the reported efficacy of this remedy.

Alas, the placebo effect or arthritic remission could also be the reason why people are getting positive results with gin-soaked raisins.  The mind is a powerful instrument, when it believes in treatment strongly, endorphins are enhanced.  Pain relief could be attributed to these endorphins.  Or another explanation could be that the individual is simply in a period of arthritic remission. 

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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