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Seaweed shake to stay slim

india Updated: Apr 26, 2011 02:21 IST

A seaweed shake could help you shed those excess kilos by suppressing hunger pangs, says a new British study. 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 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.” “Delaying the return of hunger after consumption can potentially increase consumer satisfaction with weight control programmes,” he added. Researchers from Unilever added alginate and calcium to cartons of their chocolate Slim-Fast meal replacement shakes and gave them to volunteers.

Those who had the highest amounts of alginate in their drinks felt up to 30% 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 stomach, and the calcium adds to the gel’s thickness. This creates a feeling of fullness, as well as holding food in the stomach longer.