Nutrition experts have long advised people to avoid oversized portions, as those who end up with one at their dinner table tend to unknowingly eat more. There are some ways to avoid eating larger portions; eating from smaller plates can help. So can eating until you’re full rather than until the food is finished. Some research has also shown proteinous food may improve satiety, causing a person to eat less food. Building on that, a new study has found a modified version of yogurt with protein and added starch made people feel full faster.

“In the market there is a real necessity to formulate food that helps to control the appetite; this is why we suggested formulating a yogurt with satiating capacity as an interesting strategy, and it was successfully developed,” said Susana Fiszman, a research doctor and project coordinator at the Spanish National Research Council, in a press release. By adding protein and the starch to yogurt, she said people would be better able to moderate their food consumption.

Protein is a critical part of our diet, helping the body repair cells that build healthy muscles, organs, glands and skin. It helps us feel full for longer, and aids in weight loss, for two main reasons: For one, people who eat more protein tend to eat less overly processed carbohydrates like cookies and crackers. But protein also requires more energy from the body to digest, thus spurring weight loss and prolonging satiety. But while protein consumption is advantageous, it’s important to remember it’s not the key to weight loss; people should still be getting equal amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The study comes from Spain’s Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology. Researchers conducted their study by looking at how over 100 participants performed in sensory tests after trying six different yogurts. In one yogurt, they added powdered skimmed milk, while in another they added a buttermilk protein. A third yogurt acted as a control, and was given to participants as is. The remaining three yogurts were based on the first three, although they came with two-percent starch, too.

The researchers found that the yogurt with added skimmed milk and starch provided the highest ratings of satiety. The starch, which was added to increase the yogurt’s creamy texture, could be a useful technique for adding protein into dairy products while maintaining appeal, the researchers said. “Powdered milk and starch yogurt was defined as the densest, the most compact, and the creamiest; attributes that led to a greater expectation of satiating capacity in the consumers,” said Isabel Hernando, a researcher at the Group of Microstructure and Food Chemistry at Polytechnic University.

The findings add to continuing research on ways people can manage their weight. With over a third of U.S. adults considered obese, it’s imperative we find new strategies for weight loss. The researchers said their work will continue to look into how they can modify food to make it more filling.

Source: Morell P, Hernando I, Llorca E, et al. Yogurts with an increased protein content and physically modified starch: rheological, structural, oral digestion and sensory properties related to enhanced satiating capacity. Food Research International. 2015.