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Surprising Snacking Strategy

Green yogurt proved most effective at keeping the study participants feeling fullSnacking between meals can pile on calories and, eventually, pounds, and Americans have been doing more and more of it, so much so that the rise in snacking has paralleled the increase in obesity. Researchers at the University of Missouri have come up with a strategy to quell afternoon hunger pangs that doesn’t lead to weight gain: high protein yogurt. The team recruited 15 healthy women ages 24 to 28, and divided them between a control group and three other groups. Those in the control group received no snacks, but participants in each of the other groups were allowed one of three different types of yogurt, all providing 160 calories. On the last test day, all the women ate the same breakfast and lunch and then three hours after lunch, were given either a regular yogurt with five grams of protein, a Greek-style yogurt with 14 grams of protein or another type of Greek yogurt with 24 grams of protein. Every 30 minutes after consuming the snack, the women completed questionnaires aimed at determining their hunger, degree of fullness and whether they were ready for dinner. The highest protein Greek yogurt proved most effective at keeping the study participants feeling full. This group also took longest to request dinner, two and a half hours after snack time compared to two hours in the control group.

Heather Leidy et al, “Low, Moderate, or High Protein Yogurt Snacks on Appetite Control and Subsequent Eating in Healthy Women,” Appetite, January, 2013