Those worried about going overboard with decadent treats and calorie-dense snacks may want to consider stocking up on prunes.
With the holiday season just around the corner, the vast majority of us will be looking forward to indulging in our favourite foods.
However, those worried about going overboard with decadent treats and calorie-dense snacks may want to consider stocking up on prunes (dried plums), as researchers from the University of Liverpool have reported that consuming prunes can help control appetite and reduce overall caloric consumption.
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For the first phase of the study, the experts compared satiety, appetite, and caloric intake among participants who consumed a snack of either prunes, raisins, or jellybean-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," the authors wrote.
For the second part, the researchers analysed the results of a group of people who had embarked on a 12-week weight loss programme, with half eating prunes as their snack and the others allowed to choose their own. Though 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 that only received healthy snacking guidelines.
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"These studies demonstrate that dried fruit can both produce satiety and be incorporated into the diet during weight management," added Professor Jason C.G. Halford.
Full study results have been published in the ‘Nutrition Bulletin’.