This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be a challenge. What about plums, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Plums are a kind of whole fruit with a few different types. Some people know plums more in their dried form that is named a prune.
Like most fruits, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole plums. Find out just how good they are and some weight loss friendly ways to eat them.
Micronutrients in plums
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in plums.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of plums provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 7% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of vitamins and minerals is rather lacking compared to many other whole foods. For most vitamins and minerals plums are not the greatest fruit.
Plums also contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It’s not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
One of the main reasons people think plums and other plum related products are good for weight loss is because they can act as a laxative (2, 3). This effect is mainly because of a substance called sorbitol which has laxative effects (4).
The problem with this theory is that laxatives do help constipation but don’t seem to influence fat loss (5). You might empty your intestines which makes the number on the scale go down.
But when you’re trying to lose weight that number is often not what you actually want to change. You most likely want the related health and/or visual effects of fat loss and the laxative effect of plums likely won’t be able to help you with those effects.
Fiber in plums for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Plums contains around 1.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a decent amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in plums you can reduce the time you spend craving for food.
Do plums help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in plums.
Plums contain 46 calories per 100 grams. 41.3 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (11.4 g per 100 grams of which 1.4 g fiber).
The amount of calories in plums is not that high in general. There are both lower-calorie fruits and higher calorie fruits. Compared to many vegetables plums are a little higher in calories.
That being said, plums are still generally a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more plums, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like plums you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, plums are not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating plums, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Plums are generally not fattening.
Are plums good for losing belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To lose belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since there are plenty of foods better than plums for weight loss you might want to choose other foods to lose belly fat.
Plums vs prunes for weight loss
The process to make prunes is very simple. You take some plums and expose them to enough heat so that the water in the plums evaporates. This can be done both with heat from the sun or in devices like an oven.
By removing water from the plums you get higher nutritional values per 100 grams. This includes vitamins, minerals, fiber but also calories.
Consuming water is usually beneficial for weight loss. It helps you burn more calories and feel fuller. If you want to lose weight, plums are most likely better for weight loss than prunes.
On the other hand you have prune juice, which is made by rehydrating prunes and then taking the juice from that mixture. By doing this you basically get water with vitamins and a relatively high amount of sugar. This makes prune juice also not something preferable for weight loss.
Healthiest ways to eat plums
Plums make for a great snack on their own but it also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with plums:
If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid recipes with plums like crumble, muffins, pie, and most other dessert recipes.