By Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, LD, CSSD

Myth or Fact: The Truth About Prunes and Prune Juice

Prunes are good every day in so many ways! While I like to sing the prune tune, there are often many people who have misconceptions when it comes to this versatile and valuable fruit. So, let’s make these myths go away and find a way to add some prunes or prune juice into our meals or snacks every day!

Myth #1: Prunes are only good for relieving constipation.

While it is certainly true that prunes and prune juice do a great job of promoting regularity, prunes do so much more for the body. They contain phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals (1), and anti-inflammatory properties that may work to protect bone in postmenopausal women (2).

Myth #2: Prunes will cause digestive discomfort/diarrhea.

I have met many consumers, clients, and athletes who have been reluctant to try prunes due to the unfounded concern about digestive discomfort. The good news is that prunes and prune juice do not cause diarrhea and digestive discomfort. Prunes contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, and studies have shown that consuming an excess of 20 grams of sorbitol a day may cause diarrhea. A serving of five to six prunes contains six grams of sorbitol. I always recommend that my patients start to incorporate prunes gradually. So, if someone is trying to eat five to six prunes a day, perhaps they can aim for three in the morning and three in the evening. Prunes also contain both insoluble fiber (to help with regularity) and soluble fiber that slows down gut emptying and improves digestion.

Myth #3: Prunes will raise my blood sugar.

If prunes taste sweet then they must be high in sugar, right? Wrong! The soluble fiber in prunes can actually help to manage blood sugar levels. Prunes have a low glycemic index too, so they are less likely to spike blood glucose and insulin levels (3). From a culinary perspective, since prunes have a sweet taste, they can be used in baked goods to reduce the amount of added sugars in recipes.

Myth #5: Dried fruits are less nutritious than fresh fruit.

Unless they are packaged with more sugar or flavorings, the only difference between dried fruit and fresh fruit is the fluid content. And actually, per serving, dried fruit is more concentrated in vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, dried fruit is portable, shelf-stable, and available all year round. This means you can take your prunes to work, the gym, on an adventure, and more!

Myth #6: Prunes will cause weight gain.

Prunes contain fiber, which can promote the feeling of fullness, and they have no added sugar. Prunes may actually help with weight management when given as a snack choice over other items (4). Prunes bring fiber, micronutrients, phytonutrients, sweetness, and chewiness to our plates. Prunes added in a recipe either as a healthier swap can help to decrease the overall fat and sugar content too!

Myth #7: Prunes look gross.

There’s so much more beneath the skin of these dark purple wrinkly dried plums. Prunes are delicious and provide a sweet depth of flavor to any recipe or even on their own as a snack. Prunes level up any flavor combination with texture and added nutrients. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these delicious recipes and pairings:

Myth #8: Prunes are only for “old people.”

Everyone can enjoy prunes! A quick search on the internet will show you that some of the most popular chefs, influencers, and bloggers are finding creative, unique, and delicious ways to use prunes. Check these recipes out:

Now that we’ve busted every myth about prunes, it’s time to try some for yourself! More information, resources, and recipes can be found on the California Prune Board’s website.


  1. Wallace TC. Dried Plums, Prunes and Bone Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 19;9(4):401. doi: 10.3390/nu9040401. PMID: 28422064; PMCID: PMC5409740.
  2. Damani JJ, De Souza MJ, VanEvery HL, Strock NCA, Rogers CJ. The Role of Prunes in Modulating Inflammatory Pathways to Improve Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women. Adv Nutr. 2022 Oct 2;13(5):1476-1492. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab162. PMID: 34978320; PMCID: PMC9526830.
  3. Ni C, Jia Q, Ding G, Wu X, Yang M. Low-Glycemic Index Diets as an Intervention in Metabolic Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2022 Jan 12;14(2):307. doi: 10.3390/nu14020307. PMID: 35057488; PMCID: PMC8778967.
  4. Harrold, J.A., Sadler, M., Hughes, G.M., Boyland, E.J., Williams, N.J., McGill, R., et al (2021) Experimental studies and randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of traditional dried fruits consumed as snacks on food intake, experience of appetite and bodyweight. Nutrition Bulletin, 46, 451– 467.