Cherries are a summer fruit really loved by everyone, young and old. We then know that one leads to another. Luckily they have many micronutrients useful for health and are low in calories.
They can be found on the market stalls from the end of May to the end of July and are perfect for the summer because they are moisturizing and refreshing. They satiate easily, make us feel full faster, curb appetite and contain no fat. So, are cherries fattening?
Find out what they’re good for and how many you can eat even on a diet and without guilt.
Are cherries fattening? A myth to dispel
Cherries are a greedy fruit but a friend of the figure and very rich in beneficial virtues. Furthermore, they contain good quantities of melatonin, a natural substance produced by the brain which has the precise task of regulating sleep-wake cycles. For this reason, eating a little of it every day can help you rest better.
Although they contain a fair amount of sugar (9 g/100 g), cherries have a low glycemic index, i.e. they are a type of fruit that raises blood sugar only slightly and are therefore well tolerated by diabetics and those who need to lose weight.
So, are cherries fattening? No, cherries are not fattening. With just 38 Kcal per 100 g they are instead an ideal fruit for those who need to lose weight. They are therefore among the least caloric fruits available but rich in micronutrients.
However, even if they do not make you fat, it is always good not to eat them in large quantities but to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. They also contain a lot of water, therefore they help not only hydration but also thanks to the dietary fibres, they increase the sense of satiety by helping to curb the appetite.
For this reason they are particularly suitable if you follow a low-calorie diet. They are also ideal for those who play sports, to recover fluids lost during physical activity and replenish mineral salts, especially potassium. In fact, a portion of cherries contains about 10% of the daily requirement of this mineral. So they are very useful for improving muscle activity.
If you want to know more, read our in-depth study on cherries.
How many cherries to eat per day?
You can consume between 150 and 200 g of cherries per day but divided into several portions. They are ideal for breakfast or as a snack, or to satisfy the desire for dessert after dinner. In fact, cherries are an excellent evening snack, before going to bed, thanks to their melatonin content which favors night rest.
Obviously, even if cherries don’t make you fat, it’s good not to overdo it. The ideal would be to consume them as a snack, mid-morning or in the afternoon, but also for breakfast, perhaps together with a plain yogurt and whole grains.
They are therefore an ideal fruit to keep the figure. If, on the other hand, you are on a diet, it is better to limit yourself to 12-15 cherries a day (more or less 100-120 g, depending on the size).
To consume them without gaining weight and without guilt, the best choice is to eat them fresh, natural. Juices or jams obviously contain added sugars which impact on caloric intake.
But cherries don’t throw anything away, not even the stems that have beneficial properties. In fact, if they are dried, they are useful for preparing excellent draining herbal teas as they have a detox and diuretic action, promoting the well-being of the urinary tract and helping to counteract a swollen belly.
Cherries and weight loss: the relationship with diet
Cherries are one of the fruits allowed in the diet due to their few calories which are balanced with various nutritional virtues.
If you are following a low-calorie diet, it is good to consume them naturally to limit the intake of sugars. Raw, in fact, they contain about ten grams per pound. The various preparations, such as jams or juices, on the other hand, often contain added sugars which obviously increase the caloric intake.
Dried cherries are also found on the market which contain many fibers and promote intestinal health and counteract the excessive production of gastric juices during digestion. This is especially helpful for people with gastroesophageal reflux. They are good eaten alone, but also added to salads for a more appetizing meal.
However, it is important to remember that dried cherries, like most dried fruit, are less filling than natural fruit and contain more sugar. The risk is to eat too many of them, therefore it is better to limit their consumption on a diet.
Even cherry juice is allowed on a diet, but only if it has no added sugar. Some studies have found that anthocyanin, a substance which gives cherries their red color and which has antioxidant properties, is useful for combating obesity. Additionally, along with other bioactive compounds, it can also speed up your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster.
When to avoid eating cherries
What happens if you eat too many cherries? Being rich in fiber, in this case they could cause gastro-intestinal disorders, especially if you suffer from irritable colon, such as diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Furthermore, due to their mildly laxative action, moderate consumption is recommended for children.
But the fibers in cherries, both soluble and insoluble, still help digest food more slowly and control blood sugar levels. Finally, they give volume to the faeces, facilitating intestinal transit.
That said, cherries have no particular contraindications and can be consumed by anyone except in cases of intolerance or allergy.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the hypotensive effect of this fruit, so it’s good to be a little careful if you suffer from low blood pressure. In addition, they contain a good amount of natural melatonin which promotes sleepiness.
- Cleveland Clinic, The Cherry on Top: 8 Health Benefits of Cherries.
- Agricoltural and food chemistry, Purified Blueberry Anthocyanins and Blueberry Juice Alter Development of Obesity in Mice Fed an Obesogenic High-Fat Diet.