Delicious and approved by dietitians.
Nothing is more annoying than going through the hassle of planning, cooking, and tidying up dinner … only to be hungry on the couch shortly after the nightly TV fix.
Instead of digging through your fridge and pantry for a row (or ten) of chocolates or a giant slice of Camembert cheese to bridge you until you hit the hay, I’m here to inspire you to pick something special healthier Page.
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Is It Bad to Eat Before Dinner?
Old women’s tales may lead you to believe that eating before bed is taboo, especially when trying to lose weight … but I have other ideas. Of course, it’s not wise to cram yourself with ice cream, lollipops, and buttered popcorn every night of the week.
Not only are these foods easy to overdo, they’re also crammed with unhealthy added sugars and / or saturated fat, which makes them quite high in calories. Many traditional late night snacks are also high in sodium, which is not ideal for heart health.
However, if you are really hungry and decide to have a healthy bite, I have no concerns. One of the main considerations is the portion size because you don’t want to go to bed feeling uncomfortable (hello, stare at the ceiling for an hour). Whether just before bed or during the day, I would suggest getting a snack that provides around 600 kilojoules (150 calories) or less.
That should be enough to nip annoying hunger attacks in the bud without Make your snack a complete meal.
Aside from serving size, there are other criteria to keep in mind to make sure your snack hits the brand that’s good for you. Your bedtime snack should tick at least one of the following three hunger checkpoints:
- A source of fiber: Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds provide a lot of fiber, which supports a healthy intestine and has a satiety factor.
- A source of protein: Meat, seafood, eggs, legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds and dairy products provide muscle-building protein and can make you feel full.
- A source of low GI carbohydrates: Think of: whole grain bread or crackers, yogurt or fresh fruit. Low GI carbohydrates help balance blood sugar and keep you feeling full.
Ten healthy, dietitian-approved food swaps for your late-night snack
To give you a little healthy snack inspo, here are ten typical late night food choices and the healthier swaps I would recommend instead:
- Instead of chocolate, enjoy a homemade lucky ball made from dates, nuts, seeds and cocoa powder
- Choose plain yogurt instead of ice cream. If it needs some flavor, add fresh fruit and a pinch of cinnamon.
- Instead of a few cookies, choose a handful of whole grain crackers and a slice of cheese
- Instead of a pack of chips, try a snack pack of roasted chickpeas
- Instead of buttery, salty popcorn, try simple, air-popped popcorn with herbs and spices
- Instead of the leftover dough, try a piece of whole grain toast with a teaspoon of peanut butter
- Instead of lollipops, try a fresh piece of seasonal fruit
- Instead of traditional hot chocolate, brew a herbal tea
- Instead of another piece of cake, pour a glass of milk. In the cooler months, you can warm it up.
- Instead of a handful of pretzels, try a small handful of unsalted nuts
Melissa Meier is a Sydney based accredited practicing nutritionist. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.
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