I was recently asked this question on Facebook, and I thought it would be good to write a short post on it so that everyone can benefit from the knowledge.
Raisins are grapes that are often sun-dried or dehydrated. They are naturally high in sugars (33.8% fructose and 31.2% glucose according to Dr. Cordain’s data), and so they usually don’t have extra sugar added to them (like some other dried fruits).
So, are they Paleo?
Raisins are a natural food without additives or added sugar, and they do have high amounts of some vitamins and minerals (like thiamin, B6, potassium, copper, and manganese).
Their main problem in terms of our health is that they are high in sugars. They’re also very palatable and so it’s easy to overeat them and get too many calories from sugar.
What do the Paleo pundits say?
Mark Sisson says: “I think a few servings a week of dried fruits is not a big deal at all – fruit is a natural, fiber-rich, vitamin-loaded food source.”
Dr. Cordain says: “[D]ried fruits contain excessive sugar, and…they more closely resemble commercial candy than their fresh counterparts.”
Robb Wolf says: “So I think it’s just simply folks tend to overdo it. If you don’t overdo it, then it’s really not that big a deal.”
Conclusion? It’s Paleo but only in small amounts.