We all love an afternoon snack, right? But how many of us make sure that snack is made of healthy ingredients?
According to a new study on nutrition, consuming afternoon snacks that are rich in soy protein may help reduce unhealthy eating habits in teenagers.
The new research was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Missouri-Columbia and revealed that snacks which contain soy protein can reduce the appetite, delaying late-night eating.
Heather Leidy, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, said the new study suggests that eating snacks rich in protein helps teens improve their eating habits and control the appetite.
Leidy added that many of the afternoon snacks that young individuals consume are high in sugar and fat.
The research showed that when teenagers eat high-protein afternoon snacks, they are less likely to consume unhealthy food later in the day.
This is very important for those who want to prevent being overweight or obese.
For this study, the scientists analyzed data collected from teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19.
The participants in the study were classified as being overweight or as having a normal weight.
The researchers analyzed how afternoon snack affected the appetite of the teenagers, their eating drive and their food choices later in the day.
The high-protein afternoon snack the teenagers had to eat was soy-based pudding.
The scientists wanted to see if these are different when kids skip meals totally.
The study also involved measuring how afternoon snacks influenced the teens’ mood and cognitive performance.
Leidy talked about the findings of the new study, saying that teenagers who consumed a high-protein afternoon snack not only felt more satiated, they also incorporated more protein throughout the day and ate less dietary fat.
“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.”
This means that adding protein-rich snacks in the afternoon could prove to be an efficient strategy for those who are trying to consume more protein during the day.
Also, the researchers found that eating afternoon snacks rich in protein can help improve some aspects of cognitive functions, as well as the teenagers’ mood.
Leidy added that snacks that are high in protein, such as soy products, are not expensive and are environmentally friendly.
The researchers detailed their findings in the Journal of Nutrition.
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