Prunes: A Low-Cal, High-Fiber Snack You Can Take Anywhere

Research shows that eating prunes can help stave off hunger and lower overall calorie intake.

Plum with prunes on a wooden board

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Updated on August 15, 2022

Want to try a sweet, smart snack that could help you feel fuller so you'll eat less at mealtimes and take in fewer calories overall?

We're talking about prunes, also known as dried plums. By any name, research shows that these dried fruits may help people reduce their waistlines by causing them to eat less food.

Filling and satisfying
When researchers in Greece gave 45 volunteers a midmorning nibble of white bread and low-fat cheese, adding prunes produced some significant findings. The participants reported feeling less hungry after the prune-infused snack—and they ate 6 percent fewer calories at lunch compared to when they had snacked on just bread and cheese. The study was published in 2010 in Eating Behaviors.

The fiber factor
What gives prunes the advantage in edging out hunger? It's the fiber.

Even though each test snack had roughly the same amount of protein, calories, carbs, and fat, the prune snack packed more than twice the fiber. That chewy fiber makes you eat more slowly, allowing your brain to realize when you've had enough to eat. And the roughage sits in your stomach for a long time, slowing down digestion. The fiber also reduces the rate at which sugar is soaked up into your bloodstream, which is good for keeping insulin levels on an even keel and reducing between-meal hunger pangs.

Article sources open article sources

Farajian P, Katsagani M, Zampelas A. Short-term effects of a snack including dried prunes on energy intake and satiety in normal-weight individuals. Eat Behav. 2010;11(3):201-203. 

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