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Adding Prunes in Diet Helps Reduce Weight

First Posted: May 31, 2014 07:17 AM EDT

Including prunes in diet helps lower excess body weight and reduces the waistline, a new study reveals.

Prunes, a good source of fiber, have been recognized as a nutrient rich fruit that offer various health benefits. It is rich in phenolics and has high antioxidant properties. Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that prunes can be included as a part of a weight control diet.

In the current study, researchers observed 100 overweight and obese people. They were tested on whether including prunes as a part of weight loss diet helped or obstructed weight control over a 12-week period.

Their tolerance for the high fibre prunes was also tested and whether consuming prunes had a positive effect on appetite.

Professor Jason Halford, director of the University's Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory, said, "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."

The participants were divided into two groups in which one group received prunes every day (140g a day for women and 171g a day for men) and the other were given advice on healthy snacks over the period of active weight loss.

The researchers noticed that the group that received prunes as a part of healthy life style diet lost nearly 2kg in weight and reduced their waistline by 2.5 cm. Those who were given advice on healthy snacks lost just 1.5 kg in weight and just 1.7 cm from their waists.

During the last four weeks of the study, prune eaters had a greater weight loss and after week eight participant showed increased feelings of fullness after having the prune diet. The participants showed good tolerance to high doses of prune.

Liverpool psychologist, Dr Jo Harrold who led the research, 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. 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."

The finding was presented at the European Congress on Obesity, Sofia.

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