If you are awake at night, the odds are that you are going to get hungry. When you get hungry late at night, you will likely be more tempted to grab something that is not good for you because these types of snacks are typically readily available and ready to eat quickly. There are, however, some healthy choices you can make so you don’t have to feel guilty about your late night snack.
Water might not sound like a viable snack option, but if you are feeling hungry late at night, it is possible that you are actually thirsty and your body is sending signals to trick your brain into believing you are actually hungry. Drinking a glass of water can help quench your feelings of thirst and hunger. For a splash of flavour, add some lemon, lime or cucumbers to your water. This provides you with a healthy alternative to a snack without actually having to consume any calories.
Fruit should be your top choice when you simply need to eat something at night, although you shouldn’t select just any fruit. Popular fruits such as bananas, watermelon and apples have a high sugar content and could lead to a spike in blood sugar, making it difficult for you to fall asleep. Instead, eat fruits with a lower natural sugar content like oranges, cherries, raspberries or blueberries. The fruit is good for you, contains loads of vitamins and minerals and takes care of your sweet tooth.
Low-fat cottage cheese
Low-fat cottage cheese is obviously low in fat but it is also packed with protein, making it a good choice for late night snacking. One of the benefits of cottage cheese is you can add additional healthy ingredients so the snack will match what you are craving. If you are craving something sweet, mix the cottage cheese with sliced fresh fruit and nuts or a little bit of honey. If you are in the mood for a salty snack, pair the cottage cheese with crackers that are low in salt.
Air popped popcorn
For those awake at night, it doesn’t get much better than grabbing a bowl of popcorn and sitting on the couch to watch the late night talk shows. The problem arises when you are eating big bags of popcorn that are drenched in a fake buttery substance. Popcorn can actually be an intelligent snack that is free of sodium, low in fat and calories and full of fibre. Simply choose plain microwave popcorn and avoid covering it in butter. Instead, use some cinnamon, garlic or red pepper.
- United States Department of Agriculture: Why is it important to eat fruit
- American Dietetic Association: Popcorn: A tasty and whole grain treat
- “The world’s healthiest foods”; George Mateljan; 2007
- “Healthy foods: An irreverent guide to understanding nutrition and feeding your family well"; Leanne Ely; 2001