New Delhi: A seaweed shake could help you stay slim by suppressing hunger pangs.
Men and women who drank the seaweed extract alginate-based drink for breakfast felt almost a third less hungry by lunchtime than those who had a normal milkshake.
The finding paves the way for a range of foods that keep us feeling fuller for longer and make it easier to resist snacks between meals, reports the journal Obesity.
Researcher Harry Peters from the Britain-based Unilever said, "Many different diets and diet programmes can be effective in reducing weight.
However, many subjects fail to adhere to these diets and the reduction in weight is therefore not achieved or maintained," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
Delaying the return of hunger after consumption can potentially increase consumer satisfaction with weight control programmes and reduced-energy food products and encourage long-term compliance with a reduced-energy diet."
Researchers from Unilever added alginate and calcium to cartons of their chocolate Slim-Fast meal replacement shakes and gave them to healthy volunteers in place of breakfast.
Those who had the highest amounts of alginate in their drinks felt up to 30 per cent less hungry five hours later. And the alginate did nothing to alter the flavour of the shake, with the participants saying it was just as pleasant as the real thing.
The form of alginate used turns into a gel in the acidic environment of the stomach, and the calcium adds to the gel`s thickness. This creates a feeling of fullness, as well as holding food in the stomach for longer.