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Make sure your snack has protein!

The CSIRO has found eating protein with your snack can make a meaningful difference to controlling your appetite as well as keeping blood sugar levels low....

protein bar snackThe study found that protein snack bars eaten between meals took the edge off the appetites of participants so that they ate less during a buffet lunch. Compared with a control group eating an energy equivalent high fat high carbohydrate snack, women who ate the high-protein snack bars ate 5 per cent less kilojoules mostly from carbohydrate. They also lowered their blood glucose and insulin profiles significantly (by 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively).

Now, you should note that this research was funded by an Australian protein bar company, but whether you get your protein from a bar or normal means it wont make any difference. Protein satisfies hunger more than any other food group so it is important for weight loss and keeping portion sizes under control! We often have enough protein at our main meal times, so try to also include it at snack times.

Dr Manny Noakes, Senior Research Dietitian at CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition says ‘from previous research on test meals and whole diets, protein has benefits for appetite control and can assist weight loss. This is the first time that statistically meaningful benefits on lowering food intake and, importantly, lowering glucose and insulin levels, have been demonstrated over the day using single snacks.’

Lower blood glucose levels means a greater proportion of energy burnt will be from fat sources and not blood glucose sources. This is definitely a positive for weight loss and shows again that the majority of our foods should be low GI.

‘The research suggests that compared to a conventional high fat high carbohydrate snack, a snack bar containing a moderate dose of protein (at least 10g), can help satisfy hunger. Satisfying hunger discourages overeating and prevents high blood glucose levels and the rapid release of insulin, all of which need to be kept under control in order to prevent weight gain and the development of conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes’ she said.

Much recent research on the efficacy of lower-carbohydrate high-protein diets has focussed on the impact of protein on satiety (hunger satisfaction).

Source: Aussie Bodies. See our article on snacks here.

To find out more about eating well and your individual nutritional needs contact us!


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