Diet & Nutrition
Eating Prunes Helps Pare Off Pounds
Your mother may have made you eat prunes keep you “regular” but now there’s another reason to add those dried plums to your diet. Researchers at the University of Liverpool in the UK have found that eating prunes as part of a weight control diet can improve weight loss.
A release from the university notes that consumption of dried fruit is not often recommended as part of weight loss regimens in spite of evidence that this food choice enhances feelings of fullness. However, the study by the university’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society of 100 overweight and obese low fiber consumers tested whether eating prunes as part of a weight loss diet helped or hindered weight control over a 12-week period.
The team also examined whether low fiber consumers could tolerate eating substantial numbers of prunes in their diet, and if eating prunes had a beneficial effect on appetite.
To assess the effects of prunes on weight and appetite, participants in the study were divided into two groups – those who ate prunes every day (140g a day for women and 171g a day for men) and those who were given advice on healthy snacks over the period of active weight loss.
The researchers found that members of the group who ate prunes as part of a healthy life-style diet lost 4.6 pounds and shed almost an inch off their waists. However, the people in the group that was given advice on healthy snacks lost only 3.4 pounds and ½ and inch from their waists.
The study also found that the prune eaters experienced greater weight loss during the last four weeks of the study. After week eight, participants showed increased feelings of fullness in the prune group. Moreover, despite the high daily doses, prunes were well tolerated.
The release quotes Liverpool psychologist, Dr. Jo Harrold, who led the research, as saying, “These are the first data to demonstrate both weight loss and no negative side effects when consuming prunes as part of a weight management diet. Indeed in the long term they may be beneficial to dieters by tackling hunger and satisfying appetite; a major challenge when you are trying to maintain weight loss.”
Professor Jason Halford, Professor of Experimental Psychology and Director of the University’s Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory, added: “Maintaining a healthy diet is challenging. Along with fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit can provide a useful and convenient addition to the diet, especially as controlling appetite during dieting can be tough.”