Healthy snacks that promote a feeling of fullness (satiety) may reduce the amount of food intake at subsequent meals and limit overall food consumption, according to a presentation today at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago.
"Appetite control is an area of weight management that is receiving increased attention as the food industry aims to provide consumers with foods that will keep them fuller for longer, reducing inter-meal hunger and overall energy intake," said Roberta Re, Ph.D., nutrition research manager at Leatherhead Food Research in Surrey, England.
While the amount, frequency and types of snacks consumed in the U.S. and throughout the world continues to contribute to the obesity epidemic, some snacks, such as peanuts, nuts and other high-fiber snacks, may limit overall daily food consumption.
Re referenced a study in which participants who regularly consumed almonds as a mid-morning snack reported increased feelings of satiety "resulting in a reduced energy intake at lunch and dinner with no increase in overall" calorie intake. In another study, participants' overall daily intake was lowered after they received a regular portion of cereal as a snack each day for six weeks.
Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., principal at Corvus Blue, LLC, said that food manufacturers are working to meet consumer needs for savory, satisfying snacks that also are healthy.
"You can make something just as delicious with a greater mixture of ingredients," said Shelke. "You also can increase quantity while limiting energy density. The satiety lasts longer, and there's no penalty for enjoyment."