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Eat more protein and cure that snack habit

Too little protein in your diet makes you feel hungry and reach for fattening snacks, an International study shows.

Eating more than the average amount of foods such as meat, fish, eggs and nuts can stop you gaining two pounds a month.

Researchers found that those whose meals were ten per cent protein consumed 260 more calories a day than those on 15% protein.

A typical British diet is 12% protein.

The researchers from Cambridge University and the University of Sydney recruited 22 volunteers to live and eat in a science facility.

While the foods looked the same they had different protein levels.

People who consumed ten per cent protein a day ate on average an extra 1,036 calories over a four day period compared with those who ate a 15% protein diet. Over a year that would be enough to gain two stone!

Those on a 15% protein diet also felt fuller after meals.

Lead author Alison Grosby, of the University of Sydney, said 'The results show humans have a particularly strong appetite for protein, and when the proportion of protein in the diet is low this appetitie can drive excess energy intake.

The study was published yesterday in the journal PLoS One.

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