High-protein snacks are recommended by nutritional advisors to adult if they want to keep their appetite and food cravings under control. But a recent study shows that those snacks, especially soy-based snacks, may also benefit teens.
Researchers at the University of Missouri’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology found that high-protein soy foods can help teens control noon appetite, keep their stomachs full longer and prevent them from snacking at unhealthy late hours.
Study authors reported that their findings clearly show that high-protein snacks consumed during afternoon hours can greatly improve teen diets and control their appetite. They also explained that other snacks are too high in fats and sugar to represent a healthy afternoon or evening snack.
The research team argued that eating healthier high-protein snacks that contain soy at noon can prevent teens from consuming unhealthy foods later in the day, which can also help them maintain a healthy weight, especially when they are prone to excessive weight gain.
For their study, researchers assessed the eating habits and weight of hundreds of teens aged 13 to 19. Although most of them were described as normal weight, there were also some weight-challenged participants. The teens were questioned about their afternoon snacking habits, their eating drives and their favorite meals during the later hours of the day.
Scientists were also interested in whether skipping afternoon snacking had any impact on later in the day eating habits and in afternoon snack’s influence on participants’ brain functions and mood.
Heather Leidy, the lead author of the study, reported that high-protein snacks were linked to a series of health benefits in adolescents – from diminished appetite and feeling full longer to a high intake of proteins during the day and lack of willingness to eat fatty foods during late hours.
Whenever teens ate high-protein soy snacks at noon, researchers found an improvement in their brain functions and mood. The team suggests that high-protein afternoon snacks can help people eat more protein on a daily basis, which is beneficial for both their bodies and spirit.
In their study, researchers employed soy protein as a high-protein afternoon snack. Although, the snack was especially designed in their laboratory, nutritionists claim that there are a lot of high-quality soy products on the store shelves.
MU researchers explained that previous studies had also shown that people should introduce more protein in their diets, especially plant-based products such as soy, which is both convenient and one of the products with the highest protein value out there.
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