The 5 Worst Foods to Eat Late at Night
Feeling hungry late at night?
Choosing the wrong late-night snacks can ruin your sleep as well as your waistline. Some foods and snacks can affect sleep quality, cause digestive distress, and mess up your hormones.
Others will keep you body in an anabolic state, prevent muscle loss, and boost your metabolism. The choice is up to you.
The Truth about Late Night Eating
Contrary to popular belief, eating late at night isn’t a bad thing. The key is to make smart food choices. Ideally, your meal should be high in protein and healthy fats, and low in carbs.
Protein will supply energy to muscles at night, reducing catabolism. Essential fats, such as those in salmon, tuna, and avocado, will balance your hormones. Keep your meals small to prevent indigestion.
Unless you have a race or marathon the next day, avoid carbs at bedtime. When you eat sugar late at night, it’s more likely to be stored as fat. Additionally, it raises your blood sugar levels, causing insulin spikes. Over time, this can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, low testosterone, diabetes, and heart disease.
A healthy meal or snack before bedtime can include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, walnuts, avocado, tuna salad, frittata, whey protein, or vegetables. Avoid fried foods, junk food, processed meats, starches, rice, and refined sugar.
Still feeling confused?
Here are five worst foods to eat late at night:
Studies have found that seven out of 10 people who ate candy bars and other sweets at night had nightmares. The sugar in candy bars produces brain waves that cause nightmares and affect sleep quality.
It also puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity. If you have a sweet tooth, make ice cream or cookies using stevia instead of sugar.
Loaded with sodium, trans fats, and fillers, potato chips are anything but healthy. These snacks pack a ton of calories and have no nutritional value. Additionally, it’s easy to lose count and overeat.
If you care about your health, replace potato chips with kale chips, celery sticks, raw nuts, or raw veggies. These foods will fill you up and make it easier to lose weight.
Just like potato chips, bread is packed with simple carbs and lacks essential nutrients. Unless you’re trying to gain weight, it doesn’t make sense to eat bread at night. Make a sandwich with lettuce wraps, tuna or chicken, sliced tomatoes, and pickles. It’s a much healthier option.
Pizza, fries, hot dogs, and other junk foods are a big no-no at night. These products are high in fat and sugar, have little nutritional value, and affect digestion. The sauces and dips can give you heartburn and cause acid reflux.
Not to mention the calories in junk food!
A single slice of pizza can have over 300 calories.
Grains and Cereals
Whole grains and cereals are among the worst foods you can eat at night. Despite being healthy, oats and other grains are high in carbs, so they will get you a sugar high right before bedtime. This can disrupt your sleep and cause weight gain. Cereals are even worse because of their high sugar content.