Afternoon protein snacks good for teenagers: study

Afternoon protein snacks good for teenagers: study

Consuming protein-rich snacks in afternoon is good for teenagers as they indulge less in unhealthy evening snacking, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The study also suggested that high-protein-soy foods are particularly good.

According to a new research, consuming snacks rich in protein makes one feel full; it helps teenagers indulge less in unhealthy evening snacking. It has been found by MU researchers that afternoon snacking cuts afternoon appetite, delays subsequent consumption and also cuts unhealthy evening snacking in teenagers; high-protein-soy foods included in diet helps achieving this.

According to Assistant Professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU Heather Leidy, when children consume high-protein snacks in the afternoon, they have less chances of consuming unhealthy snacks later in the day; it is especially good for children who want to avoid unhealthy weight gain.

The study was conducted on male and female adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19. They were categorized as either normal weight or overweight.

According to Leidy, "Standard meals tend to go to the wayside for kids this age. 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”. He said that standard meals especially from mid-afternoon to late evening in addition to many of the 'grab-and-go' snacks consist of high fat and sugar.

It was also found by the researchers that teens had more protein throughout the day and consumed less dietary fat, when they consume the high-protein snacks. Consequently, it is good to consume protein snacks in the afternoon for the individuals who want to eat more protein throughout the day. In the study, soy-protein pudding was used as the afternoon protein snacks. Leidy said that such high-quality protein sources should provide same benefit.

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