Good snacks before bed: The request could not be satisfied
What to Snack on Before Bed
Choosing a nighttime snack can be complicated. Not only is research inconclusive about which are the best foods for sleep, but there is also discussion about whether or not it is healthy to eat too close to bedtime.
It is traditionally recommended to avoid eating too late at night. Some studies show that eating before bed can contribute to obesity, and a few studies also suggest that eating high-fat or high-carbohydrate meals close to bedtime might make it harder to fall asleep.
However, emerging research suggests that eating certain foods before bed may have some benefits. We share recommendations for some healthy bedtime snacks.
Healthy Bedtime Snacks
For many people, the ideal nighttime snack may consist of a simple 150-calorie option that is high in nutrients. One study showed that consuming a low-calorie carbohydrate or protein snack 30 minutes before sleep helped boost metabolism in the morning. You can choose from a variety of healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, seeds, and oatmeal that require minimal preparation.
Banana with Almond Butter
Almonds and bananas are excellent sources of magnesium. Magnesium is believed to play a role in regulating the timekeeping system of plants, animals, and humans, and it may have benefits for sleep. A serving size of a banana and one ounce of almonds provides just over 100 milligrams of magnesium. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which can improve sleep quality in women especially.
For athletes, drinking a protein smoothie before bed may help with muscle repair. Research suggests that drinking whey or casein protein shakes before bed can spur a higher rate of muscle synthesis. These benefits may be even more pronounced when paired with an exercise routine earlier in the evening.
Most health food stores have a variety of protein powders to choose from. There are usually vegan options as well for those who do not want to consume dairy. If you are worried about eating too much before bed, you may want to try mixing your protein powder with almond milk or water for a lower-calorie option.
Hot or cold oatmeal might help prepare your body for sleep and keep you full throughout the night. Oats contain magnesium as well as melatonin, the sleep hormone. Consider making a batch of overnight oats with dried fruits and seeds for a simple nighttime snack option.
Fruit is another way to get in your essential vitamins and minerals. Eating certain fruits before bed may also help you sleep better.
One study found that consumption of pineapple, oranges, and bananas increased melatonin production about two hours later.
Kiwis have also been shown to have some sleep-inducing properties. In one study, adults with self-reported sleep problems were instructed to eat two kiwis an hour before bedtime. After four weeks of eating kiwis, participants were able to fall asleep faster, sleep for longer, and experience better sleep quality.
If you prefer to keep sugar consumption to a minimum, you may still find some fruits adequate for a bedtime snack. Tart cherries (and tart cherry juice) have been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of insomnia. This is because they contain melatonin and other compounds that contribute to better sleep. You may want to try drinking a glass of tart cherry juice about an hour before bed, or you can add tart cherries to your protein smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt.
Nuts and Seeds
High-sodium diets are linked to poorer sleep quality. Unsalted nuts and or seeds might be a good substitute for salty snacks like potato chips.
Pistachios contain the highest amount of melatonin within the nut family. Pistachios also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is related to sleep quality. Tryptophan helps improve sleep by helping make melatonin and serotonin. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds also contain tryptophan. Sprinkling pumpkin seeds on your oats or yogurt give an added crunchy texture.
Cashews and walnuts are also considered good nut options for sleep. Cashews have high levels of potassium and magnesium, and walnuts may help synthesize serotonin.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, and some research suggests that including calcium in your diet can make it easier to fall asleep and lead to more restorative sleep. A 100-gram serving of plain whole milk yogurt contains about 121 milligrams of calcium.
Yogurt also contains protein, as well as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and magnesium, which can all contribute to sounder sleep. Additionally, yogurt contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a key neurotransmitter that helps calm the body in preparation for sleep.
Try to find a plain or reduced sugar option as some yogurts can have high amounts of added sugar. You can also top your yogurt with berries or nuts.
Foods to Avoid Before Bed
Some foods could cause an upset stomach or keep you from falling asleep.
Sweets and Excessive Carbohydrates
Although meals that spike blood sugar might shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, research suggests that diets low in vegetables and fish but high in sugar and carbohydrates are generally linked to poor-quality sleep.
Fatty, Spicy, and Acidic Foods
Individuals who experience acid reflux should have their last meal several hours before bed and avoid common trigger foods such as mint or foods that are spicy, fatty, or highly acidic.
Caffeinated drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, and energy drinks have been shown to negatively impact mood and sleep in both adults and children. Try to limit caffeine to 400 milligrams or less per day, and avoid drinking caffeine too close to bedtime.
Alcoholic drinks may help you fall asleep initially, but alcohol can shorten your overall sleep duration, affect sleep quality, and potentially exacerbate symptoms of certain sleep disorders.
Try switching to herbal teas or water a few hours before bed.
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26 Healthy Late Night Snacks
Studies show that weight gain and poor sleep are linked to late-night snacking. While we don’t encourage eating before sleeping, choosing the right foods can not only fulfill those late-night cravings but may also improve sleep quality.
We share a list of our favorite sweet and savory snacks to keep you satisfied, including a few recommendations from sports nutritionist and dietitian James Lucas III, MS RD, CSSD.
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Here are some sweeter treats to take the edge of your hunger off.
When you’re craving something sweet and crunchy, instead of grabbing a package of cookies, reach for a bag of baked apple chips. They’re a good source of fiber and not overly sweet.
Apples are easy to digest, and in applesauce form, it makes it fun to consume with a handful of walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Naturally sweet foods like applesauce reduce orexin, a neurotransmitter responsible for keeping the body alert and inducing sleep.
Blueberries & Low-Fat or Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, live microorganisms which improve digestion and contain tryptophan, regulating the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Pairing yogurt with fruit (a carbohydrate), allows tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Tart Cherry Juice
Instead of soda, have a glass of tart cherry juice—it’s packed with melatonin to improve sleep and polyphenolic compounds to reduce inflammation.
Grapes are a great snack when you’re craving something sweet, plus they contain melatonin. Frozen grapes are also a great snack, especially during warmer months.
Instead of reaching for that canister of frosting, have a spoonful of almond butter instead. Almond butter is a healthy fat, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Milk & Cereal
Pairing a low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk is a great snack option for late nights. High-glycemic carbs in cereal help individuals fall asleep faster, while the calcium in milk increases melatonin production.
Fresh Fruit & Nuts
Fresh fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, filling you up without added sugars and further helping your body relax as it prepares for sleep. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, are a great source of protein.
Whole Grain Toast & Peanut Butter
Fiber from the bread with protein and unsaturated fats from peanut butter (or any nut butter) stabilizes blood sugar during sleep.
Apple Slices or Bananas with Peanut Butter
Apples and bananas have healthy carbs for the body and paired with peanut butter help stabilize blood sugar.
Trail mix contains a combination of dried fruits and nuts—the perfect combination for a filling snack. Try to steer clear of trail mixes containing chocolate. While dark chocolate, in particular, is healthier, it contains theobromine, a stimulant that increases heart rate and causes sleeplessness even in small doses. If you do prefer some dark chocolate, make sure it’s at least 70% cacao.
Blending fresh fruit and freezing into popsicles is the perfect substitute for ice cream—vitamins from fresh fruit without heavy cream or added sugar is a sweet treat sans the extra calories.
Cottage Cheese & Fruit
Lean protein of cottage cheese contains large quantities of tryptophan to help you fall asleep. Adding fresh fruit lends extra sweetness to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Oats contain fiber to fill you up and beta-glucan to monitor cholesterol levels. Oats are also rich in melatonin, relaxing the body and encouraging sleep.
Sweetness not to your taste? We have savory recommendations for snacks, too.
Toasted nuts are a good substitute for those crunchy cravings. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews—any type of nut thrown into a toaster is great to snack on without fear of weight gain.
Pistachios contain high levels of protein and melatonin. Just a handful can help satisfy that late-night craving and induce sleep.
Popcorn, particularly stovetop popcorn, is a great complex carbohydrate snack, filling in those crispy snack cravings. Popcorn is low in calories and can be topped with anything from salt and pepper to cinnamon and honey.
1/2 a Turkey Sandwich
A small sandwich with whole-grain bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato, and a little mayo can be just the thing you need to fill you up and induce sleep.
This crunchy vegetable is a filling snack, great with a little bit of sea salt. Edamame is a good source of tryptophan and satisfying for those who like salty snacks.
Cheese & Crackers
Carbohydrates inside crackers digest slower and the fat and protein in cheese keep us full.
Veggies and Tortilla Chips & Hummus
Snacking on hummus and fresh veggies or tortilla chips helps boost your immune system with vitamins and minerals from vegetables like carrots and bell peppers, while hummus is a good source of protein.
Tomatoes & Cream Cheese on Toast
Tomatoes contain small amounts of melatonin—paired with a small amount of cream cheese on whole grain toast, calcium-enriched cream and complex carbohydrates, this snack fills you up.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of tryptophan to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Sprinkle seasonings like sea salt, garlic powder, or cinnamon for enhanced flavor.
Kale chips are perfect for when you’re craving a crispy, salty snack. Kale is a source of calcium, a key ingredient in producing melatonin for better sleep.
Tuna & Crackers
Tuna contains healthy fats, protein, and vitamin B6 which increases melatonin production to induce sleep. Complex carbohydrates of whole-grain crackers boost tryptophan levels in the body too.
Boiled or Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrients and also happen to be natural sources of melatonin and tryptophan. Plus, with the extra protein, you’ll be able to maintain good blood-sugar balance while you sleep.
Where Do Cravings Come From?
Cravings are strong desires for specific foods, usually high-fat, sugary snacks. These cravings could stem from the circadian rhythm, thirst, and staying up late. It’s also possible that the foods we crave could be a sign that our bodies are lacking in certain nutrients.
National Library of Medicine studies
show that we eat more at night because that’s when our body is hungriest. Centuries ago, eating more at night helped increase survival, but today, it leads to weight gain, especially since the snacks we consume are high-calorie, sweet, and salty junk foods.
Some cravings may be due to dehydration rather than actual hunger. Before grabbing a snack, drink a glass of water first.
Staying up late after eating an early dinner can lead to late-night cravings. Hunger pains make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep—you could wake feeling intense hunger and possibly nausea.
3 Rules to Late Night Snacking
While we don’t encourage snacking regularly late at night, following these three, simple rules for healthy snacking may encourage weight loss and improve sleep.
Less than 400 calories
Limit snacking to 400 calories or less to prevent excess calorie intake and weight gain.
Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Snacks including fresh fruit and veggies are packed with nutrients and are easier to digest—easier to fall asleep at night.
Snacks low in sugar help stabilize blood sugar levels and avoid sugar spikes which could disrupt sleep.
In case you need further guidance, James Lucas III, MS RD, CSSD recommends, “For late-night snacking, I would suggest sticking with protein/fiber-rich foods versus carbohydrates.”
The best late-night snacks should contain melatonin and tryptophan to induce sleep.
Melatonin is a natural hormone responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, inducing sleep. Light exposure determines melatonin production—highest at night and lowest during the day. Foods rich in melatonin include almonds, walnuts, cherries, bananas, kiwi, turkey, oats, and tomatoes.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases melatonin levels. Since our bodies can’t produce it naturally, we need to consume it. Foods rich in tryptophan include milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, fish, and beans.
Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
Unhealthy snacks are usually high in fat, sugar, and salt. Snacks to avoid include potato chips, ice cream, and fast food. These types of foods are harder to digest, making it more difficult to fall asleep at night. For best practice, avoid buying these types of snacks—you’re more likely to give in if you know they’re within reach.
What’s the healthiest food to eat late at night?
Low-calorie snacks satisfy late-night cravings and digest easily. They’re also packed with nutrients.
Is popcorn a healthy snack before bed?
Popcorn is a great complex carbohydrate low in fat and protein—easy for the stomach to digest. Try to avoid popcorn saturated in butter and salt.
What should you not eat at night?
Avoid foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. These types of foods are harder to digest and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Eat Healthier, Sleep Better
For better sleep, avoid junk food high in fat, sugar, and salt, and choose healthier snacks that’ll fill you up without weighing you down.
What Are the Best Snacks Before Bedtime?
Q. I know it’s not good to eat close to bedtime, but I get hungry. What are the least harmful things I can eat — or drink — say, an hour or two before going to bed?
A. It’s hard to resist late-night cravings, but try to limit your bedtime nosh to 100 or 200 calories, 300 calories tops, said Isabel Maples, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and choose nutrient-rich items that may be lacking in your diet, like fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains or nuts, “to really make those calories count.” (Seafood and beans are other good options, but not particularly appealing before bed.) Keep in mind that snacking contributes to weight gain, and studies have found that nearly one-quarter of the calories we eat come from snacks.
A banana, apple or other fresh fruit, a small portion of low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt with sliced fruit, or oatmeal or some other high-fiber cereal with skim milk were frequent suggestions made by experts interviewed for this article.
Other suggestions included raw veggie sticks, a couple of whole grain crackers with a small slice of cheese, a handful of almonds or other nuts, or celery sticks spread with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter or almond butter (measure the nuts and butters — don’t eat them straight out of the container).
Combining carbohydrates with protein produces a filling, sating feeling, even from a small snack, Ms. Maples said.
If you’re in the mood for something salty and crunchy, air-popped popcorn may fit the bill, suggested Laura Smith, a product manager for Weight Watchers.
It’s important to note that many people become hungry at night because “they eat too little during the day, and then by the time they get home, they can’t stop, because they have built up a huge reservoir of starving inside,” said Susan B. Roberts, a senior scientist and professor at the U.S.D.A. Nutrition Center at Tufts University, and founder of the online iDiet weight management program. For others, she said, snacking before bed may just be a bad habit.
Also ask yourself: Are you really hungry? People often mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking more throughout the day, and having more water or carbonated water with dinner.
Before bed, try a glass of low-fat milk, hot or cold, noncaffeinated tea or, best of all, plain old water. “Drinking water is clearly the least harmful item to have before bed,” said Barry Popkin, a professor at the U.N.C. Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Do you have a health question? Submit your question to Ask Well.
20 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks – Best Midnight Snacks
When your stomach starts to grumble during a late-night television marathon, you may wonder if it’s worth grabbing a snack before the next episode. Though you’ve probably heard the old diet trick that says you should never eat after six or late at night, a healthy late-night snack is definitely an okay thing to have, says Abby Langer, R.D., owner of Abby Langer Nutrition and author of Good Food, Bad Diet.
First, be sure to check in with yourself to ensure you’re not just eating out of hunger, boredom, or the power of suggestion (that fast food ad between Hulu episodes looked really tasty). “It’s very important to listen to your body and nourish it properly,” says Andrea Mathis, R.D.N., L.D., an Alabama-based dietitian and author of The Complete Book of Smoothies. “Depending on your activity level or your body’s current state, you may need to consume more or less calories. Listening to your body and following those hunger cues will help to provide your body with proper nourishment.”
If you’re finding that you’re simply stressed or bored, try to turn to an alternative coping mechanism, like taking a walk or relaxing bath, Mathis says. You may also want to check in with how much you’re hydrating and ensure you’re not just a little thirsty, she adds. “A growling or empty feeling in the stomach is often related to hunger, but someone can also experience a headache or fatigue which can be a symptom of hunger or mild dehydration,” Mathis says. “To prevent this confusion, be sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, and before you grab those late-night snacks.”
And if your stomach is grumbling and you’re actually hungry, don’t deny your natural need for food. “I might not eat an entire meal late at night, but I’d never tell someone to go to bed hungry,” Langer says. Even if you ate a full dinner, it’s completely possible that your body is actually hungry and needs some extra fuel to keep you going. Staying up later than usual means your body is working and using energy, so you may need more calories than you’re used to, says Jessica Levinson, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., author of the 52-Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More.
What makes a healthy late night snack?
It’s essential to choose a late night snack that is rich in nutrients and provides some value and energy for you to use, Levinson says. Excess calories from non-nutrient dense foods are likely to be stored because your metabolism slows at night, she adds. Aim for a snack that has a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to promote fullness, suggests Langer. “Recent research shows that protein-rich snacks in the evening are superior to those that are mostly carb, simply because protein has the least effect on our protein and lipid metabolism at that hour of the day,” she says. Additionally, be sure to include some extra fiber in your snack, notes Mathis. A balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat ensures that your blood sugar levels will stay stable and hold you over until the morning.
And before you reach for that high-fat food, spicy snack, or sip of alcohol, Langer suggests reevaluating that decision as these foods are known to disrupt sleep. Plus, beware of any foods hiding caffeine, like coffee-infused foods, Mathis adds. Reach for any of these dietitian-approved foods instead (and be sure to see our Healthy Food Awards for more great ideas!)
Cottage Cheese and Berries
Spoon out some creamy cottage cheese with a handful of berries for a tasty treat full of filling fat and fiber, says Langer. She opts for a higher-fat variety to keep her full for longer.
Grab a box of your favorite cracker made from nut flours and seeds for a boost of fiber, protein, and fat to keep you full until morning, Langer says. We love Blue Diamond Nut Thins.
Greek Yogurt and Granola
Dig into a bowl of dreamy Greek yogurt and top it off with your favorite granola for a crunchy treat, Langer says. She loves a good homemade granola recipe to bring fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. Looking for a good yogurt pick? Levinson chooses the Chobani less sugar Greek yogurt.
If making your own bar seems daunting, Mathis snacks on JOJO’s Dark Chocolate Bars for grab-and-go ease. “Because I usually crave sweet snacks, I enjoy JOJO’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. They are low in sugar and contain six grams of protein per serving,” she says.
Nuts and Cheese
A burst of protein, fats, and fiber make this the ultimate late night snack, shares Mathis. Plus, it’s easy to throw together, so you don’t need to stay up later than you already are.
These take a little more effort than your usual snack, but eggs are a great source of protein when you need something (relatively quick) and substantial enough to get you to morning. Mathis loves the high protein you get in each bite. Pair with berries for some extra carbs and fiber.
Have a mixture of dried fruit, dark chocolate, and a variety of nuts at the ready to crush your late night cravings, Mathis suggests. The combo brings a ton of protein, fiber, and healthy fats and is an easy snackable option when hunger strikes.
Fresh Fruit and Nut Butter
Grab an apple or banana to pair with your favorite nut butter. This combo often helps crush sweet and salty cravings, and is great to bring fiber, protein, and fats to your snack, Levinson says.
Cereal and Milk
Choosing a low-sugar and high-fiber cereal (like Kashi Go Breakfast Cereal) and berries can be a great, comforting snack, Levinson says. She especially likes that milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body can use to create hormones that positively impact your sleep-wake cycle.
A warm bowl of oatmeal made with nonfat milk is a fiber-rich snack that also has melatonin, which can help with sleep and relaxation, Levinson says. Mix in a sprinkle of cinnamon for some extra flavor and antioxidants.
Nuts Covered in Dark Chocolate
Whole Grain Wrap
Fill a whole wheat tortilla with a combination of protein and fats, like a smear of nut butter, a slice of turkey, or cottage cheese for a well-rounded late night delight.
This dip is the trifecta of healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Add a side of veggies, like carrots or peppers, and whole grain pretzels to dip, and you have an easy evening bite.
Your breakfast favorite just became your ultimate late night snack. Whole grain toast and avocados are the dynamic duo for carbs and healthy fats. Sprinkle some feta cheese, hemp or pumpkin seeds on top for extra protein, and you have yourself a delectable snack.
These little pods are jam packed with protein and fiber to be a nutritious snack in their own little packaging. Pick a brand that doesn’t add any salt and add just a touch to taste right before enjoying.
Experts always point to yogurt as a great option for late-night snacking, but frozen varieties are just as great when cravings for something cool and creamy strikes. Be sure to pick an option high in protein, but low in sugar, like Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars.
String Cheese and Fruit
Perfectly portioned string cheese is an easy grab-and-snack option, and pairs perfectly with a piece of fresh fruit. Slice up an apple or grab or handful of blueberries for a fiber-packed plate.
Grab your favorite veggies and whole grain tortilla chips, because a few scoops of guacamole full of healthy fats is a great late-night bite. Pair with fiber-rich veggies, like cucumbers and broccoli, and whole grains for some carbs to keep you satisfied.
Dried Dates with Nut Butter
Mix up your usual trail mix of nuts and dried fruit for this delectable delight. Slice a date down the center and fill with a dollop of nut butter (and maybe a chocolate chip for good measure). It’s high in fiber and fat to satisfy your snack attack.
Arielle Weg is the associate editor at Prevention and loves to share her favorite wellness and nutrition obsessions.
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Best and Worst Late-Night Snacks for Your Health
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Cleveland Clinic: “4 Late-Night Snacks that Wreck Your Diet (and Sleep).”
MIT Medical: “Late-Night Eating.”
National Sleep Foundation: “Beverages to Avoid to Sleep Soundly While Traveling;” “Food and Drink that Promote a Good Night’s Sleep;” “Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep;” “Food and Sleep,” “Sweet Dreams: How Sugar Impacts Your Sleep.”
UPMC Health Beat: “Is Eating Before Bed Okay?”
Reviewed by Christine
Mikstas, RD, LD on September 08, 2020
11 Snacks R.D.s Like To Eat Before Bed
Before bed hunger is one of those inescapable parts of life we all known and hate (but kind of love). It always strikes right after your brush your teeth—of course—and feels absolutely impossible to ignore. Maybe it’s because you ate dinner too long ago, or maybe you just need that little extra comfort to lull you to sleep. Whatever the reason for your late night cravings, they’re totally normal.
And registered dietitians agree. In fact, they love a little pre-bedtime snack as much as the rest of us—especially if it’s the right kind of snack. For instance, it’s best avoid alcohol and spicy things before you call it a night, as those bad boys can interfere with your sleep. Instead, opt for high-protein treats that will keep you satisfied through your slumber, and foods full of tryptophan and melatonin which are two naturally occurring chemicals known for their sleep-inducing qualities. These 11 snacks cover all those bases.
1. A cup of spiced almond milk
“I like to keep evening snacks to 100 calories or less—one cup of unsweetened almond milk, heated gently with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves! Delicious, soothing, low in calories, and full of healthy spices.”
—Amy Shapiro M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
“Some days, I like to save some of my food quota for a nighttime snack. My go-to is the Wonderful Pistachios Sweet Chili 100-calorie pack. It contains about 30 pistachios. Because they’re not shelled, I spend longer eating them, which makes for a more mindful snacktime. Pistachios are also full of satiating healthy fat, protein, and fiber, which puts a stop to any feelings of hunger.”
—Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition
3. Dates and nut butter
“I have a sweet tooth that gets a little out of control at night. I’m able to satisfy it every time by slicing a Medjool date in half, removing the pit, and putting a teaspoon of nut butter inside. I also like to top it with two to three vegan chocolate chips. It’s the most luxurious snack that tastes even better than candy, and it’s full of fiber and protein.”
—Shannon Garcia, M.D.S., R.D. with KISS in the Kitchen
Kirk Mastin / Getty Images
4. Whole wheat bread with peanut butter
“My go-to evening snack is a piece of fruit or a slice of whole wheat bread with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. The carbohydrates create an insulin release, which helps tryptophan enter your brain and makes you sleepy. The nut butter provides a few grams of protein and some healthy fat. “
40 Dietitian Approved Bedtime Snacks You’re Going to Love!
Americans love to nibble post-suppertime – here’s what you need to know to make better snack choices
Dinner seems like it happened ages ago and the subtle pangs of hunger are becoming increasingly louder. Your stomach is telling you it’s time for a snack before bedtime. But the question is what should you eat? Too big of a snack can interrupt your sleep. Too little and those gnawing hunger pains will be back before you know it.
Don’t stress – there’s a snack sweet spot to aim for. It means finding tasty, healthy foods that satiate you without spiking your blood sugar or forcing your digestive system to work hard to process them. We’ve got you covered with more than 40 delicious, wholesome suggestions from dietitians, nutritionists, and other health specialists.
All snacks are not created equal
Americans love to nibble between meals and as much as 35% of our total daily calorie intake happens after 6 p.m. The most beloved are chips, chocolate, and cheese. Fresh fruit came in at the no. 5 spot.
“Our society has moved away from the traditional three square meals with more consumers embracing a new wave of grazing also known as snacking throughout the day,” explains Nikki Nies, an online dietitian coach with EduPlated, a website that matches subscribers to a dietitian to help them meet their health goals. “This type of food intake has elevated and multiplied the number of snack options. Yet, like all foods, not all snacks are created equally.”
She suggests that snack fans opt for a combination of macronutrient groups, such as marrying carbohydrate and fat or carbohydrate and protein. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels with the fat, slowing the assimilation of carbs into the blood stream. “While you may want to reach for cookies, chips or ice cream, these snacks can spike blood sugar levels and, in turn, cause disrupted sleep and disruptions to hormone levels,” she explains. “Additionally, be mindful that caffeine-rich foods, such as chocolate may be a better option earlier in the day.”
Nies bedtime snack suggestions
- 1/2 cup of berries or 1/4 cup of dried fruit and 1/4 cup serving nuts
- 1/2 cup cereal with milk
- 3 cups popped popcorn and 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 1 cracker and 1.5 oz cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons of dressing, pesto, hummus or another dip with high fiber raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery and/or radishes)
- 1 oz low-fat cheese with 4 100% whole grain crackers
- 1/2 sweet potato with 1-2 tablespoons of butter and cinnamon
- 1 cup of broccoli with 1-2 oz melted cheese
- 1/2 banana with 2 tablespoons of nut butter
The above-listed snacks also happen to be fiber-rich, meaning they’re great for satiety and may help lower your risk for chronic diseases.
How late-night snacking can affect blood sugar
Something else to keep in mind about your choice of bedtime snack is their effect on blood sugar. It’s best to avoid the roller coaster of spikes and dips. “The best bedtime snacks are ones that are protein-based or protein and fat-based,” says Dr. Joelle Cafaro, a holistic health specialist and founder of Heal4Real.com, based in Winchester, VA.
She suggests a boiled egg, a leftover piece of chicken (or some protein-based meat), a tablespoon of peanut butter, half an avocado or 2 ounces of hard cheese like cheddar or Gouda. Protein and fat in snacks help maintain balanced blood sugar levels through the night, which means sleeping through until the morning.
Sugary foods such as candy, cakes, and pie as well as snacks with caffeine like chocolate as well as some protein bars can cause agitation and alertness at night instead of relaxation. Carbohydrate-based snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers can cause blood sugar to rise initially, but in a few hours, it falls, leading to waking in the night.
Healthy, but sweet, bites
Sometimes, your cravings demand something sweet, but as our experts say it’s not a good idea to go whole hog on the sugar. What’s a snacker to do? Registered dietician/nutritionist Megan Wolf from Weight Zen in New York City, has a possible solution: her chocolate peanut butter “ice cream.” “Chia seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber,” she says. “What a combination! This recipe is a wonderful option for a snack or a sweet snack after dinner.”
Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp. real maple syrup
- 1 apple
- Whipped topping (try the low cal version)
Mix chia seeds, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and unsweetened almond milk. Add liquid to dry chia seed mixture. Stir until smoothly blended. Slice apple. Layer apple with chia pudding and refrigerate for 4 hours. Top with healthy whipped topping and fresh raspberries.
When your taste buds dictate that they want something salty and crunchy before bedtime, don’t reach for the potato chips and pretzels. Try these instead. “Kale chips are a great alternative to potato chips – lighter, healthier and just as tasty!” says Wolf. “Use your favorite seasoning to customize your chips.”
Make your own kale chips at home
Kale Chips with Sriracha and Greek Yogurt Dip
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. sriracha
Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse kale and remove stems. Towel dry kale. Any dampness will result in soggy chips so extra dry! Rip kale into chip-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Massage 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil into the kale. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the kale in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or your favorite spices! Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until kale is crispy, slightly browned on edges. Make a simple dip with plain Greek yogurt and Sriracha.
27 suggestions for satisfying and healthy nighttime nibbles
- Carrot, celery, with 1/4 cup hummus
- Cucumber round stacks with whole grain brown rice cracker and Greek yogurt or hummus
- Rice cakes with a thin layer low calorie jam
- Apple sauce with 1/2 graham cracker crumbled on top
- Fruit like an apple or banana cut into small pieces, with 1 tbsp. peanut butter
- Bowl of low sugar high fiber cereal
- Low fat string cheese w 1?2 cup of fruit
- 1/2 cup Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- Glass of low fat milk with unsweetened cocoa stirred in
- 2 cups of plain popping corn
- 1?2 cup roasted edamame
- Handful of unsalted nuts
- 1 hardboiled egg sliced and stacked with slices of cheese and whole wheat cracker
- Crustless mini quiche
- Baked zucchini wedges with low fat cheese
- 1/4 cup tuna salad with 4 small whole grain crackers
- 1 slice of whole grain toast with 1 tbsp nut butter
- Cottage cheese with fruit, such as berries or peaches, or 3 slices of avocado
- 1 small banana w 1 tsp of Nutella spread over it. Try them frozen
- Kale chips (see recipe above)
- Celery stalks with 1 tbsp nut butter and dried fruit on top
- Cubes of Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds (frozen in ice trays) and served with a drizzle of honey
- Yogurt bites. Combine almond meal, frozen yogurt, and berries and freeze in a muffin cup
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
90,000 Best and worst food before bed
Health professionals may argue about the benefits of milk or the best time to exercise, but there is one thing that everyone agrees on: Sleep is extremely important to the human body. The quality of sleep depends on the clarity of thinking, the speed of reaction, mood and a number of other important functions of the body. Lack of sleep leads to increased appetite and weight gain, growth problems in adolescents, a general decrease in the body’s immunity and other negative consequences.Therefore, it is important to get enough sleep!
Sleep quality is influenced by many different factors, but one of them – food – unites all people. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of foods and recommendations that you can follow to help you sleep well every night.
Best food before bed
Foods rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in most plant proteins, especially in legumes. Of interest to us is the fact that the level of tryptophan affects the level of serotonin in the body.And serotonin, the pleasure hormone, has a significant effect on appetite, mood, and sleep. This means eating foods rich in tryptophan before bed can improve the quality of your sleep.
Which foods are rich in tryptophan? Turkey, soybeans, pumpkin seeds. They can be combined with other products. For example, whole grain bread, pasta, crackers, rice paired with turkey, eggs, and dairy are some of the best ways to eat before bed. The thing is, foods rich in carbohydrates help foods with tryptophan to be absorbed faster.
Cherry. This is one of the few natural sources of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is often recommended for sleeping pills. One study found that drinking sour cherry juice before bed helped older adults fight insomnia.
Foods rich in magnesium. Foods high in magnesium, such as dark green leafy vegetables and avocados, are the very same natural remedies that can help you sleep.Magnesium has been shown to improve sleep quality in older people (sleep duration and ability to wake up easily) with insomnia.
Food that steals sleep
There are a number of foods that are not recommended to eat before bed.
Caffeine. It won’t be news that caffeine interferes with healthy sleep, but this advice is worth recalling nonetheless. Reduce your daily caffeine intake to 200–300 mg. And most importantly, do not consume it before bed.Remember, caffeine is found not only in espresso or lattes, but also in chocolate, energy drinks, and tea.
Alcohol. Of course, a glass (or two) of red wine at night can be accompanied by drowsiness, but drinking more alcohol can disrupt sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, do not consume more than one glass of light alcoholic drinks per day.
Fatty foods. Fatty foods such as chips, fried foods, or ice cream are bad for sleep.The fact is that fat is absorbed for a long time, which means that all this time the body works, instead of resting.
What to eat and how much
To sleep soundly like a baby, it is better to avoid large meals just before bedtime. If you’re having a late dinner, make your portion smaller than usual. If you are just grabbing a snack, place the required amount of food on a plate. Otherwise, you run the risk of eating the entire pack, especially if you are sitting in front of the TV. Here are some snacks you can eat without harming your sleep:
- Low-fat milk and whole grains.
- Natural peanut butter and whole grain bread;
- yogurt with half a banana or a tablespoon of chopped walnuts;
- Two cups of popcorn (no additives) drizzled with olive oil.
Sacrificing sleep for another nightly snack is not a good idea. You can have a snack at any time, but usually only get a good night’s sleep. But what if it’s time for sleep, and the stomach is rumbling? Have a glass of warm milk and a couple of crackers. This will be enough for the stomach to hold out until breakfast.
If you have to eat just before bedtime, here are three rules that are recommended to follow:
- Give preference to foods that are rich in tryptophan (turkey, eggs, milk).
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and fatty foods.
- Eat smaller meals and control the amount you eat.
Top-10 foods that can be eaten before bedtime without harm to the body
“How many people – so many opinions” – this expression also applies to specialists in the field of proper nutrition: some say that eating at night, and even better after 18 hours, is prohibited, since the body has already worked out in a day, and this is a real crime – make him work, digesting food even at night.And there are those who convince you of the need for a snack at night, if the body really asks for it, otherwise, you can not expect a quiet high-quality sleep, so important for well-being and productivity during the day.
It is difficult to say which of them is more right in their beliefs, but the majority are still inclined to believe that if the body itself asks to “feed” it, then 2-3 hours before bedtime you can refresh yourself, the main thing is to know what!
1. Fermented milk products
Kefir, low-fat cottage cheese, natural yogurt or sour milk are your universal rescuers from attacks of evening hunger.They consist of light protein, which is perfectly absorbed by the body, saturates, but does not overload it. It is important that the portion does not exceed 200-250g. You can add a spoonful of honey, cinnamon or vanilla to the sour milk, this will only improve the effect. As a result, you are happy, well fed, there are no extra pounds, and everyone is happy!
2. Warm milk
Most of us were given a glass of warm milk before going to bed in childhood, and for a reason: milk contains such an amino acid as tryptophan, which soothes and helps with insomnia.Therefore, it is better to drink a little milk at night, and in the morning to be full of strength and energy, than trying to replenish their supply with the help of junk food later.
Egg yolk is known to contain protein, fats and cholesterol, and egg white is a combination of exclusively water and easily digestible protein in a ratio of 90% to 10%. Therefore, taking into account the composition and caloric content of the yolk (352 kcal / 100g) at night, you can afford to eat either 2 whole eggs, or as much protein as you can, because its energy cost is only 44 kcal / 100g.But, keep in mind that protein takes a little longer to be absorbed, so fanaticism is also not welcome here – “what kind of bardzo is not healthy.”
Grapefruit is rightfully called the best citrus for weight loss, since it has a low glycemic index, a fairly low calorie content (35 kcal / 100g), it is a source of valuable fiber, a whole range of different vitamins, and also contains naringin, which improves metabolism substances and promotes the breakdown of body fat.Grapefruit also effectively fights insomnia, so eating it before bed is no doubt even crisp!
Turkey and chicken fillets are best suited here, as they are the most dietary, especially boiled ones. It practically does not contain carbohydrates, so your figure will not suffer 100%, but there is also a lot of protein, vitamins (A, E, group B) and minerals that will help saturate the body without overloading it. It is better to eat poultry at night in the amount of 100-150 and with vegetables.
See also: Cooking quickly and easily – 5 delicious dishes on kefir
Contrary to various opinions, you can, and even need to eat avocados at night! In the right amount, of course, but avocado contains mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are not deposited on problem areas (and, in principle, not on any!), Are quickly absorbed, moreover, they contribute to the breakdown of already existing fats. Avocado does not contain cholesterol and sugar, but it boasts a wealth of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, thanks to which it keeps the whole body in good shape, improves the activity of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, the condition of hair, skin, and much more! The magnesium found in avocados is a great help for insomnia.These are all compelling arguments that half a medium avocado at night is perfectly fine for you.
Nuts contain numerous vitamins and minerals, and most importantly – magnesium, B vitamins and Omega 3, because they are the best fighters for quality and restful sleep. You can’t eat a lot of them, because here you already need to remember about the calorie intake, however, eating 30 g of nuts will be very useful.
Saltwater fish is a powerful supplier of quality protein for your beauty and health.Low-fat varieties of fish (mostly white) are easy to digest, lower the level of bad cholesterol and enrich the body with iodine and phosphorus. The best option for a late dinner is 100-150 grams of hake, cod, flounder, pollock or pike perch. Small amounts can also be enjoyed with tuna and shrimp, and ideally with green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, lettuce, romaine, etc.).
9. Stewed vegetables
Vegetables have always been, are and will be an ideal snack and a complete meal.However, if it is better to eat more fresh vegetables during the day, then in the evening and before going to bed – in stew or boiled. This is justified by the fact that it is in the cooked form that vegetable fiber is better and faster absorbed by the body, and also perfectly cleanses the intestines.
See also: Autumn dessert – 7 ideas for fruit and vegetable smoothies
Most berries, like fruits, include fructose and glucose. That is why, before going to bed, it is worth eating only sweet and sour berries, most of all are suitable for this: cherries, blueberries and raspberries.You can add to them a few tablespoons of low-fat kefir or natural yogurt. Berries can be both fresh and frozen, because their beneficial properties are not suppressed by freezing, so the body will definitely receive its own dose of vitamins and antioxidants. Cherries are also one of the natural sources of melatonin, a hormone used to treat insomnia!
So, if you really want to eat before bedtime – do not deny yourself this! The main thing is to remember about the time, quantity, salt the food as little as possible, and if you cook, then cook it without using oil.So the body will not suffer, and the sleep will become stronger! In addition, while on a diet, you will not then fall for another chocolate bar, and you will be proud of yourself!
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Bedtime Food – Tasteful
Believe it or not, the food you eat before bed can affect your health and the way you spend the night.
We’ve compiled the 5 best and 5 worst evening meals for you. Remember that lack of sleep leads to increased appetite, weight gain, decreased immunity, and other consequences. This is why getting enough sleep is important!
Foods prohibited before bedtime
- Fast food
Fatty foods such as burgers, chips, ice cream are bad for our sleep.This is because it is poorly absorbed. The body works all night to digest everything, and does not rest at all.
Many people like to drink a glass of wine, because they are sure that after that they will feel sleepy and they will fall asleep soundly. But alcohol is actually a strong diuretic, so you’ll have to get up often at night.
First, if you eat chocolate at night, you can get better.Secondly, it contains caffeine and theobromine. They excite the nervous system, speed up the heartbeat and cause insomnia.
Chicken contains a lot of protein, which slows down the digestion process by 50%. Therefore, the body will spend energy on the digestion of food, and not on sleep.
Do not eat spiced foods at night. They cause heartburn, and with it restless sleep.
Foods Allowed Before Bed
Choose foods that are rich in tryptophan.A small slice of turkey eaten 1.5 hours before bed will help you fall asleep quickly.
This low fat product also contains tryptophan to help you sleep more restful.
- Jasmine rice
After you eat jasmine rice, a gradual flow of glucose into the blood will begin to occur. Therefore, the time to sleep will be cut in half.
Cherries are rich in melatonin, a substance that helps control human biorhythms and improve sleep quality.
These nuts are rich in magnesium, which relaxes muscles and makes it easier to fall asleep. A small handful will not harm your body.
Drink a glass of warm milk, eat light unsalted crackers and go to bed. And the dream will be good, and you will not get better!
90,000 What can and cannot be eaten at night?
Each of us, at least once in our life, stood in front of the refrigerator at night in the dark, fighting the urge to eat.And as luck would have it, looking at night at all I do not want to eat anything useful, my hand reaches for sandwiches, the remnants of dinner or cake. Why does the night hunger keep us awake and what to do about it?
The reason for the night trip to the refrigerator may be too early dinner or not. The habit of eating at night, and the lack of a food culture can adversely affect not only your figure and health, but also the quality of sleep.
Before bed, our body must digest any food that has entered the stomach, otherwise at night it will work and expend energy, instead of resting. And, as you know, lack of healthy sleep can have a huge range of negative consequences, both physical and psychological. For example, this can lead to depression, impaired attention, chronic fatigue, skin aging, weight gain, etc.
However, if we are too hungry, we still cannot fall asleep. You can have a snack at night, but you just need to do it wisely.There are foods that make us wake up in the middle of the night and keep us awake. Before going to bed, you should avoid eating fatty, spicy, sweet, caffeinated, alcoholic foods and drinks. Spicy foods can cause indigestion and discomfort, fatty foods take a long time to digest, sugary foods can trigger blood sugar spikes, and caffeinated foods such as coffee, dark chocolate, tea, etc. will have a stimulating effect and simply won’t let you fall asleep.Many believe that having passed a glass or a glass of something intoxicating at night, they will fall asleep in a quiet, peaceful sleep. Perhaps, but it will also make the body wake up in the middle of the night and will not let you fall asleep for a long time.
So what can you eat at night? The best snacks before bed are foods rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins. Complex carbohydrates, when digested, release serotonin, this will help you calm down before bed, and protein foods will quickly give you a feeling of fullness, and you will sleep peacefully until the morning.
If you’re hungry, try a glass of milk or a slice of cheese, wholegrain bread toast with avocado, banana, some nuts, yogurt with savory cereals, kefir or cottage cheese before bed.
If you decide to have a snack before going to bed with even the most healthy foods, you should follow a few rules:
– the portion should be small;
– at least half an hour should pass between a snack and sleep;
– be sure to brush your teeth before bed.
Read more articles in the Articles section of our Online magazine
What you can eat at night: advice from nutritionists :: Health :: RBC Style
© Pablo Merchan Montes / Unsplash
05 December 2018
Few people manage to avoid late snacking.Nutritionists told us what foods you can eat at night.
Hunger does not depend on the time of day and can sometimes overtake late at night. Instead of going to bed, we go to the refrigerator.Ice cream or chips can saturate and bring pleasure, and in the morning there is a feeling of guilt for the night eaten. But that doesn’t mean starving, nutritionists interviewed by HuffPost say .
A number of scientists agree that the deposition of fat is influenced not only by the calorie content of dishes, but also by the time of day, although this theory has not yet been fully investigated.
Can you eat before bed?
According to Jonathan Valdez, a spokesman for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the last meal should be a couple of hours before bedtime for the food to digest.Night is the time when the body slows down its metabolism, and this is the main reason for choosing a light meal in the evening. And it’s not just about the potential for fat deposition. If your body doesn’t have time to digest food before you go to bed, it will negatively affect your sleep.
Feeling hungry late at night can be a signal that you’re not eating well enough during the day, says nutritionist Amy Gorin. She recommends eating or snacking every 3-5 hours and being more careful with your breakfast.It should be high in calories, with adequate fiber and protein. You need to make sure that the rest of the meals are also balanced and provide the body with sufficient fuel. Gorin believes that snacks should not be neglected, because they are suitable for quick snacks at work and help not to overeat with the subsequent full meal. The main thing is to have a snack when you really want to eat.
Nutritionist Alice Ramsey insists that if you feel hungry you should eat – no matter what time of day.At the same time, she notes that the desire to eat something late in the evening does not always come from our stomach. Often a nighttime snack is the body’s response to stress, emotional distress, habit, or even boredom. Ramsey calls for a mindful approach to nutrition and each time asking the question: is it really physical hunger?
At the same time, experts note that it is difficult, but important, to recognize hunger resulting from an emotional outburst and cope with it. Gorin advises in this case to replace the snack with a walk or light exercise.According to Ramsey, it is imperative to work with “emotional” hunger and try to eliminate the cause of stress. Or at least try to switch from eating to something that can cheer you up, like watching a comedy.
What foods can you eat at night
Nutritionist Rebecca Ditkoff suggests combating non-physical hunger with a special drink: add turmeric and cinnamon to herbal tea or almond milk. If the body really needs a late night snack, the expert recommends using protein foods for this, for example, half a glass of Greek yogurt combined with healthy fats (1/4 cup nuts or a quarter of an avocado) and smart carbohydrates (whole grains high in fiber ).
If you want to eat before bed, try to find foods with healthy fats and “smart” carbohydrates.
© Rawpixel / Unsplash
Carbohydrates should be considered especially because they promote the production of insulin, which in turn helps tryptophan increase melatonin levels in the brain.This leads to rapid falling asleep and sound sleep. The combination of carbohydrates and protein helps to reduce the levels of hormones that cause hunger, and the body stays full until waking, says Ramsey.
Scientists have named a product that you can eat at night and lose weight
Valdez believes protein is the main ingredient in satisfying hunger. When you crave something sweet, you can mix natural yogurt with peanut butter or apple slices. The list of healthy snacks, according to the doctor, also includes nut mixes, cheese sticks, meat and fish chips, and a glass of warm milk.
Ramsey also recommends snacking on the nut mixture, and suggests making it yourself. Dried fruits (a source of carbohydrates and natural sugar) and pistachios (rich in protein and fiber) are best suited for this. The nutritionist recommends avoiding caffeinated foods before bed: tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, and chocolate.
Nut mix – a good “night” snack
© Sweetlouise / Pixabay
As a snack, experts suggest using bread with a teaspoon or tablespoon of nut butter.For a quick snack, natural or grainy cottage cheese is also great. Before bed, you can eat cherries (which contain melatonin), almonds, cashews, and pecans (high amounts of magnesium help to relax the body), Ditkoff says. She also recommends avoiding caffeine and avoiding spicy and greasy foods at night, which can lead to stomach upset and spoil sleep.
Nutritionists warn to be careful when eating at night. This advice applies to all meals, but in the evening we often eat while watching TV, in which case the focus is on the screen, not the body.If you do not listen to your body, you can overeat, which will lead not only to excess weight, but also to sleep disorder. So in the evening we need to be especially careful about what we eat, and be sure to monitor the portion size.
7 foods that will help you eat less sweets and normalize weight
What foods should not be eaten before bedtime
Sleeping on an empty stomach is a dubious pleasure, contrary to fashionable dietary tendencies, it is possible and necessary to eat in the evening.But it is worthwhile to approach the choice of dishes wisely. We have already compiled a hit parade of the best late dinners, now it is the turn of the anti-rating. If you want to sleep well, avoid these foods in the evenings.
Bacon. And sausages. And sausage. And jerky, and corned beef, and ham. In a word, the circle of “criminals” is understandable. These meat products are hard to digest, which makes the stomach and heart remain active, what a dream, when work is in full swing. In addition, bacon and sausage are high in tyramine.This amino acid increases blood pressure and stimulates the production of norepinephrine, which in turn triggers a fight-or-flight mode in the brain. You become alert and alert because you are under artificial stress.
Mature cheese. Also contains high levels of tyramine. Mature cheeses include yellow cheeses (cheddar, maasdam, etc.) and blue cheeses. Before going to bed, it is better to give preference to ricotta, goat cheese and young mozzarella.
Tomatoes. They are the cause of heartburn. About 20% of adults suffer from gastric backflow at night, many of them are unaware of it. Tomatoes negatively affect the acidic environment of the stomach, causing discomfort. If you are not sure how your stomach behaves at night, then it is best not to get carried away with tomatoes shortly before bed.
Dark chocolate. It contains caffeine. Not as much as coffee, of course, but still enough to disturb your sleep.Especially if you are a sensitive and impressionable person. In 100 grams of dark chocolate, about 80 milligrams of caffeine is almost a quarter of the daily value. And it’s better to use it at breakfast.
Alcohol. Not food, but deserves a separate mention in the rating of the “bad guys”. Alcoholic drinks help you fall asleep faster, but you will rest worse: you will sleep a little and you will often wake up. A glass of wine or half a pint of beer, of course, will not cause significant damage, but something more significant will have consequences for the body.If you are not planning a romantic evening with a continuation, then it is better not to drink alcohol at dinner.
Spicy food. Just like heavy, fatty foods, it speeds up metabolism, raises body temperature and raises heart rate. Before bed, our body needs something completely opposite – peace and coolness. The thrill makes life brighter, but leave it on for the morning.
Fried food. As we mentioned, fatty foods are hard to digest and make your stomach work hard.Any fried food – be it chicken, potatoes, or even deep-fried vegetables – absorbs oil and becomes greasy. The advice is still the same – enjoy the roast during the day, not in the evening.
Broccoli. And also cauliflower with carrots. Vegetables are definitely good for your health. But these specifically cause increased gas production and bloating. There is nothing to be done, such is the process of assimilation of dietary fiber. It is better not to run it at night.
Steak. Another dish that is pleasant to absorb and difficult to digest.If you can’t go without meat for dinner – take a closer look at the turkey.
What you can eat at night without harming your figure
For breakfast – oatmeal, for lunch – buckwheat with chicken, in the evening – green salad and everything that is in the refrigerator. Sound familiar? It often happens when all day you limit yourself to food and calories, and in the evening you get so tired that healthy eating loses its charm and all meaning.
Nighttime overeating is one of the leading causes of excess weight, sleep disturbances and eating disorders.Together with nutritionist Natalya Samoilenko, we will tell you why we want to eat at night, how to stop doing it and what to eat in the evening if we really want to. And how to get rid of food addiction.
When is the safest time to eat at night so as not to harm sleep and health?
The last meal should be at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. The best time to go to bed is before 23:00. The fact is that in the period from 23:00 to 01:00 the hormone somatotropin is synthesized – it is responsible for reducing the amount of adipose tissue, restoring and gaining muscles.
What foods should be excluded from the evening diet?
Insulin interferes with the synthesis of growth hormone – that is why in the afternoon it is worth excluding simple carbohydrates that cause a jump in blood sugar. Eat fruit for the night, flour products, sweets? They harm hormone production in the evening. Even the healthiest carbs – banana, peach, couscous, pumpkin, or whole grain pasta – inevitably lead to weight gain if consumed in the late evening. Milk and dairy products, red meat, starchy vegetables also have a high insulin index and will not contribute to weight loss (more about protein for the body).
See also: Proper nutrition: 10 healthy and tasty snacks
What can you eat at night?
Light proteins, vegetables and the right fats promote proper hormone function, quality sleep and recovery. Choose a light night snack.
Ideal combination for dinner – Baked white fish on an asparagus pillow, Seafood cocktail with avocado and baked spinach or Greek salad without feta .These dishes are high in protein, easy to digest, and satiate until the early hours of the morning.
Pistachios, almonds, walnuts is a good source of vegetable protein, fiber and healthy fats. But pistachios have a big advantage over the rest: the shell. This means that it will take you more time to eat and your risk of overeating is significantly reduced. But we do not advise you to tempt fate and recommend weighing your portion in advance. 562 calories per 100 grams is no joke.
Hummus with vegetables
AND Ideal for an evening snack. Chickpeas are rich in vegetable protein and fiber, while low-calorie cucumber and celery will keep you from overeating. In addition, the spices in hummus will help speed up metabolic processes in the body. The main thing is to forget about store-bought hummus with preservatives and make it homemade. So much tastier!
Helps to satisfy hunger and does not affect the quality of sleep.Leafy greens are the safest option for a large, filling late dinner with a minimum of calories. Add a little olive oil to arugula, spinach and basil – and forget about hunger at least until the morning.
You can eat low-fat cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt, natural yogurt at night – they contain protein and effectively satisfy the feeling of strong hunger in the evening. The body easily assimilates them, saturates and does not overload. To lose weight, a portion of dairy products should not exceed 250 g.If you chose fermented milk products, add a spoonful of cinnamon, vanilla, or honey.
Why do we eat at night?
Do you always want to eat something before bed? There can be two reasons. “First of all, the question may be related to the wrong distribution of the multiplicity of the diet during the day and its calorie intake,” explains Natalya. in the evening.If, in addition, the choice of foods in the evening is wrong and you prefer carbohydrates, the desire to eat something at night will be greater.
The second reason is incorrect sleep rhythms. Untimely going to bed provokes overeating at night. A large number of stress factors transferred the day before will provoke night rises at 3-4 hours associated with an increase in cortisol and the desire to eat something at this time. “
How to get rid of the habit of eating before bedtime?
Natalya advises you to revise your diet and pay attention to the timing of food consumption.The correct distribution of food throughout the day will eliminate nighttime snacks. The number of calories and the frequency of meals before 15:00 should be higher than after. For example, if you have three meals a day, you should have 2 meals before 15:00, and one after 15:00.
The choice of products in the morning is wider and more voluminous. In the evening, you need to give preference to light proteins, vegetables and the right fats. It is such a light dinner that will help you fall asleep quickly and balance the level of hormones that are responsible for the quality of sleep.
Remember to follow the basic rules for going to bed:
- fall asleep before 23:00
- Do not use gadgets before going to bed and anything that emits a blue glow
- Fall asleep with the lights off and with tightly curtained windows. Even the dimmest light sources will block the natural production of melatonin and prevent you from falling asleep properly.
See also: 7 foods that speed up metabolism
See also: Melatonin and Other Sleep Hormones That Help Stay Slim
See also: Healthy and unhealthy fats: which foods contain
See also: Low-calorie foods to add to your daily diet