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Concept: Snack food

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BACKGROUND: Strategies that may increase compliance to reduced energy intakes are needed to reduce the health burden of obesity. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the effects of snacking on satiety and energy intake. METHODS: This study compared short-term satiety from two common snack foods, low fat popcorn or potato chips. Using a counterbalanced within-subject design, 35 normal weight non-smoking participants (17 men, 18 women) ages 20–50 years (mean age 33 +/- 11, BMI 23 +/- 2 kg/m2) consumed four conditions each: 200 mL of water (control), one cup (4 g, 15 kcal) popcorn, 6 cups (27 g, 100 kcal) popcorn, and one cup (28 g, 150 kcal) potato chips, each with 200 mL water. Participants rated their hunger, satisfaction, prospective consumption, and thirst on 100 mm visual analogue scales 30 minutes after commencement of snack consumption. In addition, post-snack energy intake from an ad libitum meal (amount served less amount remaining) was measured, and the test food and meal combined energy intake and energy compensation were calculated. RESULTS: Participants expressed less hunger, more satisfaction, and lower estimates of prospective food consumption after six cups of popcorn compared to all other treatments (P < 0.05). Energy compensation was 220% +/- 967%, 76% +/- 143% and 42% +/- 75% after one cup popcorn, six cups popcorn and one cup potato chips, respectively. Combined energy intake was significantly greater (P < 0.01) during the potato chips condition (803 +/- 277 kcal) compared to control (716 +/- 279 kcal) or popcorn conditions (698 +/- 286 kcal for one cup and 739 +/- 294 kcal for six cups). Combined energy intakes from both popcorn conditions were not significantly different than control (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Popcorn exerted a stronger effect on short-term satiety than did potato chips as measured by subjective ratings and energy intake at a subsequent meal. This, combined with its relatively low calorie load, suggests that whole grain popcorn is a prudent choice for those wanting to reduce feelings of hunger while managing energy intake and ultimately, body weight.

Concepts: Food, Potato, Snack foods, Snack food, Meal, Calorie, Potato chip, Popcorn

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Eating patterns are increasingly varied. Typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals are difficult to distinguish because skipping meals and snacking have become more prevalent. Such eating styles can have various effects on cardiometabolic health markers, namely obesity, lipid profile, insulin resistance, and blood pressure. In this statement, we review the cardiometabolic health effects of specific eating patterns: skipping breakfast, intermittent fasting, meal frequency (number of daily eating occasions), and timing of eating occasions. Furthermore, we propose definitions for meals, snacks, and eating occasions for use in research. Finally, data suggest that irregular eating patterns appear less favorable for achieving a healthy cardiometabolic profile. Intentional eating with mindful attention to the timing and frequency of eating occasions could lead to healthier lifestyle and cardiometabolic risk factor management.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Nutrition, Snack food, Meal, Breakfast, Dinner, Meals, Lunch

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether small doses of intense exercise before each main meal (‘exercise snacks’) would result in better blood glucose control than a single bout of prolonged, continuous, moderate-intensity exercise in individuals with insulin resistance.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Blood sugar, Food, Carbohydrate, Snack food, Meal

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Although major research efforts have focused on how specific components of foodstuffs affect health, relatively little is known about a more fundamental aspect of diet, the frequency and circadian timing of meals, and potential benefits of intermittent periods with no or very low energy intakes. The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. Emerging findings from studies of animal models and human subjects suggest that intermittent energy restriction periods of as little as 16 h can improve health indicators and counteract disease processes. The mechanisms involve a metabolic shift to fat metabolism and ketone production, and stimulation of adaptive cellular stress responses that prevent and repair molecular damage. As data on the optimal frequency and timing of meals crystalizes, it will be critical to develop strategies to incorporate those eating patterns into health care policy and practice, and the lifestyles of the population.

Concepts: Health economics, Medicine, Epidemiology, Metabolism, Nutrition, Energy, Snack food, Meal

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There has been increasing interest in nuts and their outcome regarding human health. The consumption of nuts is frequently associated with reduction in risk factors for chronic diseases. Although nuts are high calorie foods, several studies have reported beneficial effects after nut consumption, due to fatty acid profiles, vegetable proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols with potential antioxidant action. However, the current findings about the benefits of nut consumption on human health have not yet been clearly discussed. This review highlights the effects of nut consumption on the context of human health.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Lipid, Fruit, Dietary fiber, Vegetarian cuisine, Snack food

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Adults, regardless of whether they are parents, regularly eat meals with family at home, but few studies have analyzed large, population-based samples to examine how mealtime practices or family meal frequency are associated with health.

Concepts: Nutrition, Food, Snack food, Meal, Meals

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The ‘variety effect’ describes the greater consumption that is observed when multiple foods with different sensory characteristics are presented either simultaneously or sequentially. Variety increases the amount of food consumed in test of ad libitum intake. However, outside the laboratory, meals are often planned in advance and then consumed in their entirety. We sought to explore the extent to which the variety effect is anticipated in this pre-meal planning. Participants were shown two food images, each representing a first or a second course of a hypothetical meal. The two courses were either, (i) exactly the same food, (ii) different foods from the same sensory category (sweet or savoury), or (iii) different foods from a different sensory category. In Study 1 (N=30) these courses comprised typical ‘main meal’ foods and in Study 2 (N=30) they comprised snack foods. For each pair of images, participants rated their expected liking of the second course and selected ideal portion sizes, both for the second course and the first and second course, combined. In both studies, as the difference between the courses (from (i) same to (ii) similar to (iii) different) increased, the second course was selected in a larger portion and it was rated as more pleasant. To our knowledge, these are the first studies to show that the variety effect is evident in the energy content of self-selected meals. This work shows that effects of variety are learned and anticipated. This extends our characterisation beyond a passive process that develops towards the end of a meal.

Concepts: Scientific method, Food, Difference, Taste, Snack food, Meal, Course, Main course

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Acrylamide (AA) contents in 294 snack foods including cereal-based, root- and tuber-based, and seafood-based foods, nuts, dried beans, and dried fruits purchased in Taiwan were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in this study. The highest levels of average AA content were found in root- and tuber-based snack foods (435 μg/kg), followed by cereal-based snack foods (299 μg/kg). Rice flour-based, seafood-based, and dried fruit snack foods had the lowest average AA content (<50 μg/kg). This is the first large surveillance of AA content in snack foods in Taiwan. The results could provide important data regarding intake information from the snack foods. In addition, the results showed a great diversity of AA content in snack foods prepared from different ingredients. Rice- and seafood-based products had much lower AA than those made from other ingredients. This information could constitute a good reference for consumers to select products for healthy snacking.

Concepts: Fruit, Vegetable, Snack foods, Dried fruit, Snack food, Nut, Meal

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The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) fortification policy discourages the fortification of certain foods, including sugars and snack foods such as cookies, candies, cakes, chips, and carbonated beverages, yet manufacturers sometimes add vitamins and minerals to snack foods.

Concepts: Nutrition, Food, Snack foods, Snack food, Meal

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Purpose . To compare the effects of nut-based snack bars (NBSB) vs. prepackaged 200-kcal portions of typical conventional snack foods, when consumed over a 12-week period by a group of overweight adults. Design . Randomized, single-blind parallel design with two treatment groups. Setting .

Concepts: Snack food, Meal