Controlling your appetite is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and weight. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri shows that protein in the afternoon can reduce your appetite for the rest of the day and reduces unhealthy snacking among teenagers.
“Our research showed that eating high-protein snacks in the afternoon helps teens improve the quality of their diets as well as control appetite,” says Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU.
The study observed male and female teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. The snack of choice for the study was a soy-protein pudding. Their findings indicated that including more protein throughout the day helped people consume less fat and improved certain facets in mood and cognitive function.
The study confirms the tangible benefits of snacking healthy as opposed to grabbing the more “convenient” treats, which are often high in fat and sugar. The study also reinforces how protein is immensely beneficial to a healthy diet, showing marked improvements in mood, appetite, and the overall management of weight.
“Our study demonstrated that the positive effects on appetite and satiety can be extended to consuming soy-protein products,” says Leidy. Protein’s role in snacking is similar to its role in weight loss; it can provide satiety for a dieter and be a deterrent from less healthy alternatives.