Afternoon soy protein snacks improve diet quality

Afternoon soy protein snacks improve diet quality

A new study has found that consumption of a protein rich afternoon snack containing soy protein results in reductions in appetite, a greater delay in subsequent eating and improved diet quality in teens compared to other snack options. The study, titled Protein Snacks Improve Appetite and Diet Quality in Teens, was conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri in collaboration with DuPont Nutrition & Health.

“Standard meals tend to go to the wayside for kids this age – particularly from mid afternoon to late evening – and many of the convenient  grab and go snacks are high in fat and sugar,” says Heather Leidy, assistant professor, department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri and lead researcher of the study. “Adding protein snacks in the afternoon could be a good strategy for individuals who are trying to eat more protein throughout the day.”

Participants were randomly assigned to consume either a chocolate peanut caramel flavoured pudding snack formulated with soy protein (26g protein, 6g fat, 27g carbohydrate), a snack with a ‘typical’ nutrition profile that is higher in fat (4g protein, 12g fat, 32g carbohydrate) or no snack.

Those who received the high fat snack or no snack subsequently consumed more snacks high in fat and sugar that evening than those who consumed the protein rich snack. Daily protein intake was higher and fat intake was lower when a protein snack was provided versus a high fat snack or no snack.

The study also found that inclusion of an afternoon snack reduces appetite over the course of the afternoon, but the soy protein snack leads to a greater reduction in post snack appetite. In addition, when participants consumed the protein rich snack, their request for their next meal was delayed by 20 minutes compared to the group that did not receive a snack.

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