A New Study, Protein Snacks Improve Appetite and Diet Quality in Teens, Shows Why Soyfoods Make a Good Snack Choice for Teens
Ankeny, Iowa, March 22, 2016—April is Soyfoods Month, is the ideal time to help children and adolescents make sensible snack choices as part of a healthy eating pattern. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, obesity has quadrupled in adolescents and more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. Currently, about 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese. In light of these findings, snacks have taken on more importance. Globally, a majority of children are consuming two to three snacks per day. According to recent research, young Americans are moving towards consuming three snacks a day, with snacks often accounting for 27 percent of their daily caloric intake.
Making diet and exercise changes can help children and teens maintain a healthy weight, and replacing high fat/ high sugar snacks with more healthful options such as soy is a great place to start. Soyfoods—such as soynuts, edamame and soymilk shakes—are packed with plant-based protein.
Soyfoods are especially good snack choices, given the findings from a recent study conducted by The University of Missouri in collaboration with DuPont Nutrition & Health and published in The Journal of Nutrition. The study, titled “Protein Snacks Improve Appetite and Diet Quality in Teens,” found that consuming protein-rich afternoon snacks containing soy protein led to a reduction in appetite, a delay in subsequent eating, and an improved overall diet quality compared to other snack options. In this study, teens whose usual habit was to consume an afternoon snack were followed on three different occasions in which they consumed a high fat/high sugar snack, a snack higher in protein and low in fat or no snack at all.
As noted in the study conducted at University of Missouri, incorporating a protein-rich afternoon snack improves total daily diet quality. Teens who received the high fat snack or no snack subsequently consumed more snacks high in fat and sugar that evening, as compared with participants who incorporated a protein snack in their daily diet. Also, those who ate protein snacks (versus high fat snacks or no snacks) not only had a lower fat intake but also higher daily protein intake, a key nutrient required for healthy growth and development. The study found that consumption of an afternoon snack reduced the appetite over the course of the afternoon, and a snack made with soy protein led to a greater appetite reduction.
In addition to this study, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans underscore the relationship between nutrition and health. The latest guidelines offer key recommendations, including a shift to healthier food and beverage choices and choosing more nutrient-dense foods. Soyfoods are specifically called out as part of a healthy eating pattern.
Soyfoods provide a healthy foundation for growth and development. Unlike many high fat, high calorie grab-and-go snacks, soy is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fats and is a complete protein offering all of the essential amino acids in the proper amounts needed for healthy growth. One serving of many common soyfoods offers from 7 to 15 grams of protein. Soy snacks are good news for parents and teens alike because soy options are plentiful, affordable and convenient.
Soy ingredients can be swapped into kid-friendly recipes, replacing other components that contribute more fat or lower quality of protein to the nutrition profile of your family’s favorite dishes. Consider using edamame or tofu as a base for dressings and dips, meatless options of hamburger, meatballs or sausage or simply swapping soymilk for other beverages to deliver 8 grams of high-quality protein as well as calcium and vitamin D to help fuel bone development in growing teens. Today there now are higher protein versions of foods commonly consumed by young people, such as pudding.
Recipes from The Soyfoods Council make it easy for teens to move away from high fat/ high sugar snacks to healthier protein snacks. Ideas include the Soynut Butter Pita Pocket made with whole wheat pita, soynut butter, apple slices and apple butter; and roasted Honeyed Soynuts, eaten alone or used in a variety of homemade trail mix recipes. Other choices are drinks such as the Berry Secret Smoothie, made in a blender with lite vanilla soymilk, frozen berries, fresh spinach and a splash of orange juice.
For more information about the study, “Protein Snacks Improve Appetite and Diet Quality in Teens,” visit http://www.danisco.com/about-dupont/news/news-archive/2015/new-study-investigates-strategies-for-improving-obesity-related-outcomes-in-overweight-young-people/
For easy soy snack ideas and free brochures such as Good News About Good Eating, visit the Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com. The Soyfoods Council offers easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about soy, plus cooking tips and recipes featuring soyfoods.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.