Are Grapes Good for Your Diet?

By Jessica Bruso

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends consuming at least 1 1/2 to 2 servings of fruits, such as grapes, per day as part of a healthy diet. These nutritious fruits are low in calories and energy density and may provide some health benefits, making them a good choice the next time you are looking for a fruit to add to your plate.

Nutrient Content

A 1-cup serving of grapes has 62 calories, 0.3 gram of fat, 0.6 gram of protein and 15.8 grams of carbohydrates. It will provide you with 17 percent of the daily value for vitamin K and 33 percent of the DV for manganese if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, as well as smaller amounts of many other essential vitamins and minerals. Manganese is an antioxidant essential for wound healing, bone development and metabolism, and you need vitamin K for strong bones and blood clotting.

Energy Density

Fruits and vegetables, including grapes, tend to be low in energy density, meaning they don't have many calories per gram. Eating mainly foods low in energy density can help you maintain a healthy weight because you can fill up on fewer calories than if you ate foods higher in energy density. One way to include grapes as part of a healthy diet is to eat them in place of foods higher in energy density, such as cookies, cakes, ice cream and other sweet treats. Eat a smaller portion of your main dish at lunch and add a serving of grapes to help fill you up, snack on grapes instead of raisins and include sliced grapes in your salad instead of dried fruit.

Grapes and Diet Quality

People who eat grapes tend to have a higher diet quality than those who don't, according to a study published in the "Journal of Food Science" in June 2013. Grape consumers had higher intakes of calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber and vitamins A and C than nonconsumers, leading the study authors to recommend grapes as a contributor to a healthy diet.

Potential Health Benefits

Grapes and products made with grapes, such as wine and raisins, contain a beneficial phytochemical called resveratrol. Resveratrol may help lower your risk for health conditions including Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease and degenerative nerve disease, according to the AARP website. People who eat more fruits and vegetables also tend to weigh less, according to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in July 2009.

Pesticide Considerations

Grapes are one of the types of produce the nonprofit Environmental Working Group lists as having high pesticide residues. Pesticides can build up in the body and may lead to health problems, such as headaches or birth defects. You can limit your exposure to pesticides and any potential risks associated with this exposure by purchasing organic grapes, which are grown without the use of conventional pesticides.

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