The temptation to binge on snacks sometimes happens at night, before going to bed. In fact, these habits can be bad for any diet program. Weight gain is one major impact of this habit. To tackle our food cravings at midnight without disturbing the diet program, we have to choose our snacks wisely.
Here is 8 top healthy late-night snack ideas suggested by nutrition experts:
1. Hummus and Whole Grain Crackers or Veggies
Chickpeas and tahini are both valuable sources of protein. They form a complete protein when they are combined to make hummus. Complete proteins are essential because they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini, can be enjoyed as a dip for raw vegetables or Ezekiel bread, providing a satisfying and nutritious snack option.
Nuts are an excellent no-cook snack option due to their high protein content and healthy fats. Nuts are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They fight inflammation, reduce hunger, support weight loss efforts, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is recommended to consume raw almonds, pistachios, and macadamias.
3. Cereal and Low- Fat Milk
Cereal can indeed be a viable option for a nighttime snack, as it provides a combination of carbohydrates and calcium from milk. When choosing cereal for a nighttime snack, opt for varieties with minimal added sugar and preferably whole grains for sustained energy release. Additionally, using low-fat milk can help keep the calorie content lower and make the meal more easily digestible.
Zucchini, turnip, carrot, sweet potato, and kale can be sliced thinly and baked or air-fried to create crisp and tasty chip alternatives. Baking or air-frying them without oil can help reduce the fat content compared to traditional fried potato chips. Even though these chips may be lower in fat, they can still contribute to overall calorie intake. It is still important to practice moderation and mindful eating.
5. Fresh Vegetables
Adding flavorful sauces or dressings can make raw vegetables more enticing and enjoyable to eat. For example, a roasted red pepper sauce can add a delicious twist. Lettuce, kale, tomatoes, and fruits like kiwi and cherries are mentioned as alternative options that are lower in fiber and may be more easily digested. These choices can still provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them healthy snack choices.
6. Cooked Edamame
The equation “protein plus fiber equals the best night’s sleep” emphasizes the potential benefits of consuming a combination of protein and fiber-rich foods for improving sleep quality. Edamame are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber, making them a nutritious snack option. The protein in edamame can provide satiety and help regulate blood sugar levels, while the fiber supports digestive health.
Makhana, also known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, is a common snack in Indian households and is used in various sweet and savory dishes. Makhana is low in calories and fat while being a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein. It is also considered easy to digest. You can eat them plain or roast them with a touch of ghee or oil for added flavor.
8. Popped Amaranth
Amaranth is naturally free of gluten, making it suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes bowel regularity. It can be prepared as a side dish, added to soups or stews, used as a base for porridge, or even popped like popcorn for a crunchy snack.
Which of the foods above is your favorite as an alternative midnight snack? Share what you think in the comments section below.