Do you want to make your adolescent child avoid eating unhealthy food in the evening? Scientists have discovered that high-protein afternoon snacks, especially soy foods, are capable of reducing the unhealthy habit of evening snacking in teenagers, but also has a great contribution in preventing obesity.
Soy-protein snacks and foods eaten in the afternoon are capable of inducing feelings of fullness and they can cause delays subsequent eating, the researchers announced in their study which was published recently.
“Standard meals tend to go to the wayside for kids this age, especially from mid-afternoon 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,” said lead researcher Heather Leidy, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri.
The research focused on male and female adolescents from the age group between 13 and 19 years old, who were classified as either normal weight or overweight. The scientists evaluated how snacking in the afternoon had an effect on teenagers’ appetite, desire to eat and also food choices later in the day. The experts also wanted to find out whether these choices were different when teenagers skipped eating snacks altogether.
The researchers also found out that the high-protein snacks enhanced certain aspects of cognitive function and also the mood of the participants in the study, according to Daily Mail. Leidy explained that even if high-protein puddings with soy are not yet available to the general public, some similar high-quality protein sources should bring out the same effect in teenagers.
“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. In addition, we also found that the high-protein snacks improved certain aspects of mood and cognitive function,” Leidy explained in the report which was published, along with its findings, in the Journal of Nutrition.
The afternoon protein snacks which were used in the research were soy-protein pudding. The lead researcher explained that similar high-quality protein sources could offer similar benefits.
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