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Prunes may help control appetite, new research suggests

December 7, 2021  By Bakers Journal


Roseville, Calif. – Consuming prunes can help control appetite and reduce overall caloric consumption, suggests new research from the University of Liverpool, England.

This study was funded by the California Prune Board, which had no involvement in the drafting or content of the manuscript.

“These studies demonstrate that dried fruit can both produce satiety and be incorporated into diet during weight management,” said Professor Jason C G Halford, University of Leeds, and president of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, who was part of the research team.

The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, researchers compared satiety, appetite, and caloric intake among participants who consumed a snack of either prunes, raisins, or jelly-bean-like candy, all comparable in calories. Researchers found that those who ate prunes consumed the fewest calories overall at subsequent meals. The prune snackers also reported reduced hunger levels, improved satiety and a greater perceived ability to eat less food at subsequent meals.

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In the second phase of the study, researchers focused specifically on weight loss. Participants were divided into two groups – those who followed a 12-week weight loss program with prunes as their snack and those who followed the same program but were only provided with guidance on healthy snacking. While there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of pounds lost, the prune group experienced greater weight loss on average than the group who only received healthy snacking guidelines (-4.4 pounds versus -3.4 pounds). Additionally, those who consumed prunes also reported higher levels of satisfaction and greater ease of following the weight-loss program.

Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD, and nutrition advisor for the California Prune Board, said the study suggests nutrient-dense prunes can provide an advantage over other snacks “due to their favourable effects on satiety and appetite control.”

While consumers may be concerned about troublesome side effects for their digestive system, Halford said, “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.”

The study can be accessed here.


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