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J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep;110(9):1322-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.002.

Snack selection influences nutrient intake, triglycerides, and bowel habits of adult women: a pilot study.

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School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.


Because appropriate snacking can promote a healthy body weight and serve as an important contributor to a healthy diet for women, identification of suitable foods for incorporation between meals is essential. We investigated the influence of short-term (2 weeks) incorporation of 100-kcal servings of snacks of dried plums vs low-fat cookies twice daily on total energy and nutrient intake, biochemical parameters, and bowel habits in a randomized crossover design of two 2-week trials separated by a 2-week wash-out period in 26 women aged 25 to 54 years with a body mass index between 24 and 35. Incorporation of dried plums or low-fat cookies into the diet did not alter energy intake or weight; however, compared to cookies, dried plums promoted greater (P< or =0.05) intake of fiber, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and calcium. Total fat intake tended (P=0.094) to decrease with dried plum consumption, as did cholesterol intake (P=0.098). Plasma triglyceride concentration remained unchanged (P>0.05) by dried plum consumption and was 17.0+/-29.2 mg/dL (0.19+/-0.33 mmol/L) higher (P< or =0.05) after consumption of low-fat cookies vs dried plums at the end of 2 weeks. Dried plums promoted a softer (P< or =0.05) stool consistency vs usual intake and in comparison to intake of low-fat cookies. These results suggest that relative to a commercially processed low-fat cookie snack, dried plums promote more favorable plasma triglyceride responses, improved dietary quality, and slightly improved bowel function.

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