Pro­tein ‘staves off hunger pangs’

Lesotho Times - - Health -

LON­DON — Snack­ing on pro­tein and soyrich foods in the af­ter­noon helps stave off hunger and could there­fore help in the bat­tle against obe­sity, new re­search has re­vealed.

While the ben­e­fits have been well-doc­u­mented in adults, re­searchers have shown the same can now be said of chil­dren’s di­ets.

Af­ter­noon snack­ing, par­tic­u­larly on pro­tein or soy-rich foods, re­duces hunger pangs.

It also de­lays the need to eat while re­duc­ing the like­li­hood of gorg­ing on un­healthy, fatty foods.

Dr Heather Leidy, from the Univer­sity of Mis­souri, said: “Our re­search showed that eat­ing high-pro­tein snacks in the af­ter­noon helps teenagers im­prove the qual­ity of their di­ets as well as con­trol ap­petite.

“Stan­dard meals tend to go to the way­side for kids this age — par­tic­u­larly from midafter­noon to late evening — and many of the con­ve­nient ‘grab and go’ snacks are high in fat and sugar.

“When kids eat high-pro­tein snacks in the af­ter­noon, they are less likely to eat un­healthy snacks later in the day, which is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for kids who want to pre­vent un­healthy weight gain.”

To test the the­ory in teenagers, the re­searchers an­a­lysed a group of male and fe­males aged 13 to 19 years old.

All the vol­un­teers were classed as be­ing ei­ther nor­mal weight or over­weight.

The re­searchers as­sessed how snack­ing the af­ter­noon af­fected the teens’ ap­petite, drive to eat and food choices later in the day, and whether these were dif­fer­ent in a group of teenagers who skipped eat­ing snacks al­to­gether.

The ex­perts also mea­sured how af­ter­noon snack­ing af­fected teens’ cog­ni­tive per­for­mance and mood.

“In ad­di­tion to the ap­petite and sati­ety ben­e­fits, we found that when the teens ate the high-pro­tein snacks, they in­cor­po­rated more pro­tein through­out the day and con­sumed less di­etary fat,” Dr Leidy said.

“Thus, adding pro­tein snacks in the af­ter­noon could be a good strat­egy for in­di­vid­u­als who are try­ing to eat more pro­tein through­out the day.

“In ad­di­tion, we also found that the high­pro­tein snacks im­proved cer­tain as­pects of mood and cog­ni­tive func­tion.”

Those teenagers in the group per­mit­ted to snack were given a soy-pro­tein pud­ding in the af­ter­noon.

Dr Leidy said that although the spe­cific pud­ding is not avail­able to the public, sim­i­lar high-qual­ity pro­tein sources should elicit sim­i­lar ben­e­fits.

She said: “Health pro­fes­sion­als in­creas­ingly are rec­om­mend­ing that peo­ple eat more high-pro­tein, plant-based foods like soy, which are high qual­ity and tend to be in­ex­pen­sive and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.

“Our study demon­strated that the pos­i­tive ef­fects on ap­petite and sati­ety can be ex­tended to con­sum­ing soy-pro­tein prod­ucts.”

The study was pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Nutri­tion. — Daily Mail.

Peanut but­ter is burst­ing with pro­tein and can help stave off hunger.

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