Dry Fruits for Weight Loss: What to Eat and How to Eat?

Dry fruits, which are high in nutrients, are also treated as a munching delicacy in Indian households. But are dry fruits for weight loss effective? Find out here!

“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.


Are Dry Fruits Good for Weight Loss?

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: Benefits for Weight Loss

Dry fruits are beneficial for weight loss in multiple ways. This is because of the following reasons:

1. Rich in Fibre

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.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

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.

3. May Boost Calorie and Fat Burning

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.

Which Dry Fruit is Best for Weight Loss?

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.

1. Nuts

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:

  • Almonds: 

Studies show that the protein in almonds helps build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and burns more calories.

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 579 kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.6 g | Sugars: 4.35 g | Fibre: 12.5 g | Fats: 49.9 g | Protein: 21.2 g

How much to consume daily:

About 5 to 8 almonds, either raw or soaked.

  • Cashews: 

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.

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 553 kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.2 g | Sugars: 5.91 g | Fibre: 3.3 g | Fats: 43.8 g | Protein: 18.2 g

How much to consume daily:

About 4 to 5 cashews, either raw or soaked.

  • Walnuts:

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.

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 654 kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.7 g | Sugars: 2.61 g | Fibre: 6.7 g | Fats: 65.2 g | Protein: 15.2 g

How much to consume daily:

About 2 to 3 walnuts or 4 to 6 walnut halves, consumed raw.

  • Pistachios:

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.

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 560 kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.2 g | Sugars: 7.66 g | Fibre: 10.6 g | Fats: 45.3 g | Protein: 20.2 g

How much to consume daily:

About 8 to 10 pistachios, either raw or dry roasted.

2. Dates

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 sugarjaggery 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.

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 282 kcal | Carbohydrates: 75 g | Sugars: 63.4 g | Fibre: 8 g | Fats: 0.39 g | Protein: 2.45 g

How much to consume daily:

About 3 to 4 dates.

3. Raisins

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. 

Nutrition per 100 g:

Calories: 301 kcal | Carbohydrates: 80 g | Sugars: 65.7 g | Fibre: 3.3 g | Fats: 0.2 g | Protein: 3.28 g

How much to consume daily:

About 8 to 10 raisins, raw or soaked.

How to Eat Dry Fruits for Weight Loss?

If you are trying to lose weight, you can have dry fruits in the following ways:

  • As a mid-meal or evening snack instead of processed or refined foods.
  • As a dessert in the form of dry fruit ladoos.
  • As a homemade protein bar before or after a workout.
  • As toppings or additions to other dishes.


WARNING!When eating dry fruits for weight loss, try to avoid eating dry fruits and nuts that are:
  • Roasted in fat like ghee, oil or butter
  • Coated in sugar, honey or caramel syrup 
  • Tossed in salt or other seasoning with a high sodium content 
All of these can add to the calorie count and hinder your weight loss efforts.

What is the Best Time to Eat Dry Fruits for Weight Loss?

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.

What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Dry Fruits?

Dry fruits no doubt have a high nutritional value, but consuming more than the recommended quantities per day can cause unwanted complications such as:

  • Problems with digestion:

    As dry fruits have high fibre content, they promote regular bowel movements, but consuming them in excess may disrupt your digestive system. Excess fibre consumption can lead to problems such as bloating, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and constipation.
  • Hyperkalaemia:

    Dry fruits are high in potassium. Consuming too much potassium can lead to a condition called hyperkalaemia, especially in those who have advanced kidney disease. It is a condition that affects the normal functioning of your kidneys where they are unable to remove the excess potassium in the body, which can lead to irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and paralysis.
  • Weight gain:

    Dry fruits are much higher in calories and carbohydrates when compared to their fresh counterparts. Therefore, if you do not keep an eye on your portion size, it can lead to weight gain.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Dry fruits and nuts are a powerhouse of nutrition and also a treat for your taste buds. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins and dietary fibres and are also well known for their long shelf-life.
  • Dry fruits and nuts can be a healthy addition to your diet and can help you manage your weight by boosting your metabolism and fat burning. The high fibre and antioxidant content in dry fruits also help promote weight loss. 
  • Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, dates and raisins are good for weight loss.
  • You can eat dry fruits and nuts as snacks, as a post-meal dessert, as toppings in other dishes, or in the form of a protein bar.
  • The best time to eat dry fruits and nuts is in the morning on an empty stomach or as a snack.
  • Overconsuming dry fruits can cause an imbalance in your potassium levels, lead to digestive problems like constipation or bloating, and may also cause weight gain.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable.

Friendly Asked Questions

Do dry fruits reduce belly fat?

Yes, dry fruits may help reduce your belly fat as they are a rich source of fibre and other nutrients. Also, studies suggest that the antioxidants in dry fruits can improve your body’s metabolism and further promote loss in belly fat and body weight.

How much dry fruits should I eat a day to lose weight?

Though dry fruits are highly beneficial for you, try not to go overboard with them. It is best to limit your consumption of dry fruits to not more than 1 to 2 servings per day (20 to 30 g) to avoid any risks of overconsumption such as weight gain, digestive problems and hyperkalaemia.

Which dry fruit is best for belly fat?

Some of the dry fruits that can be great for losing belly fat include nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios), dates, raisins, etc. Dry fruits are generally high in nutrients and antioxidants which makes them extremely healthy and effective for weight loss.

Is eating dry fruits at night good?

Dry fruits are high in fibre content so it might not be the best idea to consume them at night. Fibre rich foods when taken at night can cause indigestion and disturbed sleep as they take longer to digest. It may cause symptoms such as stomach bloating, gas and an uncomfortable stomach.

Which dried fruit is the lowest in sugar?

Dried berries like raspberries, mulberries, blueberries, etc. are low in sugar, as berries have a naturally low sugar content. Most dried fruits are supposed to be high in sugar content as they are basically dried or dehydrated fruits. They often have a more concentrated nutrition content when compared to fresh fruits, making them rich in sugar and other nutrients. It is best to limit your consumption of dry fruits to not more than 1-2 servings per day.

Are dry fruits good for weight loss?

Yes, dry fruits can actually be effective and helpful for weight loss. Dry fruits are rich in fibre, proteins, antioxidants, etc., and may further boost the process of calorie and fat burning. All of these factors make dry fruits good for weight loss.