Columbia, MO—New research from the University of Missouri (MU) suggests that high-protein snacks suppress appetite for longer periods of time than lower-protein snacks.
The study, conducted by MU’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, was lead by Heather Leidy, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department. Leidy collected a group of women, ages 24–28, and divided them into four groups: no snack, low-protein yogurt snack (five grams protein), medium-protein Greek yogurt snack (14 grams) and high-protein Greek yogurt snack (24 grams). Each snack contained 160 calories.
After eating identical breakfasts (quesadilla and fruit) and lunches (sandwich, chips and applesauce), the women ate their respective snacks or no snack. They then completed questionnaires every 30 minutes regarding their hunger and fullness levels, as well as if they would like to eat dinner yet.
The results showed that the women who ate the high-protein snack felt full the longest and requested dinner a half hour later than those who ate a low- or medium-protein snack. Though eating any snack suppressed the appetite more than eating no snack at all, Leidy says, “If you are looking to feel full and stave off hunger for the longest, you should eat a snack with at least 25 grams of protein.”
The results were published in the journal, Appetite.
Another recent study found that snacking on 1.5 ounces of whole almonds daily suppressed appetite as well. The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 137 adults who either ate no almonds throughout the day or ate approximately 250 calories worth of almonds either as a snack or with a meal. The study lasted four weeks. Those who ate the nuts reported feeling less hungry than those who did not eat nuts. In addition, their vitamin E levels were higher and their monosaturated “good” fat levels rose. Those who ate the almonds did not gain weight, which the researchers attributed to either insufficient energy absorption or energy compensation in the participants’ diets.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2013 (online 10/22/13)