When you hear the word "fig," it’s hard not to think of sweet snacks such as fig bars and fig cookies. But did you know that eating figs can help you lose weight? It all depends on how you consume the pretty piece of produce.
Let’s start by examining what a fig actually is, long before it’s packed into a Fig Newton. In nature, a fig is a soft, pear-shaped, inverted flower with sweet dark flesh and several tiny seeds. Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, but they’re arguably most famous for making an appearance in popular snack bars. That said, people following healthy plant-based diets are known to use figs as a sugar substitute for a variety of baked goods and smoothies. When you find out all the benefits of figs, it’s no surprise why.
According to Medline Plus, figs are packed with fiber, which has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss. Because fiber makes you feel full faster and for a longer period of time, it can be a dream when it comes to controlling your weight. Following a high-fiber diet in general is not only good for weight loss, but also for solving digestive problems you may be having. Alongside vegetables, healthy legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits, figs can be a wonderful addition to your weight-loss eating plan.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Aren’t figs too sweet to be healthy? While it’s accurate that figs do contain sugar, this sweetness is totally natural in the whole foods, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. (Remember: Always check the labels for any snacks containing figs — they may also include some unhealthy added sugars.) It’s also worth mentioning that figs are pretty low-cal at just 74 calories per 100-gram serving, according to Nutrition Data. In comparison to other popular weight-loss foods such as dates, figs are also relatively low in sugar. Even better? You can eat figs either fresh or dry, as both are excellent choices for a healthy snack.
But for those of you who only like figs in Newton form, we have pretty good news for you too: In the National Institutes of Health’s “Maintaining a Healthy Weight On the Go: A Pocket Guide,” experts actually recommend fig bars as a substitute for cookies when you have a hankering for something extra sweet.
The one caveat to eating figs for weight loss? You just have to be sure not to eat them in extremely large quantities. Although they’re naturally sweet, an excessive amount of that sweetness isn’t good for anyone — especially folks with diabetes or other conditions. And at the end of the day, too much of a good thing is still a lot to handle.
Next, learn about the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: