Regular Consumption of a Balanced Salmon-Based Salty Snack Does Not Affect Energy Intake, Body Composition and Biochemical Parameters in Healthy Volunteers

F. Marangoni, S. De Dionigi, P. Magni, A. Poli
Food and Nutrition, 2013, 4, 515-21


An inverse relationship between meal frequency and body weight has been observed in several studies: however, little information is available on the effects of a snack consumption on energy and nutrient intakes in adults. In this study, 19 healthy volunteers consumed daily for 3 weeks, in a cross-over design, one of two isocaloric snacks (bread with salmon spread or bread with salami). Diet composition, anthropometrics, blood pressure, lipid and fatty acid profiles, fasting plasma glucose levels and high sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP) were assessed at the beginning of the study and before and after each dietary period. The inclusion of a mid afternoon snack in the standard meal pattern (breakfast, lunch, dinner) was associated with a significant reduction in energy intake at dinner (the reduction being larger after the snack prepared with the salmon spread); the total daily caloric intake, however, was not changed by the snack consumption, since the snack caloric intake was fully compensated by the lower dinner energy intake. No significant change has been observed in any of the measured biochemical or anthropometric parameters, even if a trend toward a plasma hs-CRP reduction and toward a more favourable HUFA index was observed after the salmon spread snack consumption. These observations indicate that the regular consumption of a balanced mid afternoon snack has no adverse effects on energy intake and biochemical parameters of healthy adults with a moderately active lifestyle; the snack consumption results, however, in different distributions of the energy intake among meals. The snack composition (salmon or salami) may further influence these effects.