We all get hungry at night at some point. We may be watching tv, writing a hub at the computer or just playing Bejewel Blitz. It doesn’t matter what, sometimes we want a night snack. Oh yes we had our dinner but that stomach just keeps growling especially when you know that there are some brownies or a slice of cheesecake somewhere there in the refrigerator. How do you eat healthy at night and what snacks do you reach for?
In order to stay healthy you must eat the healthiest snack you can find. It makes no sense trying to stay healthy and cheating with your snack because everyone has gone to bed and they can’t see you. They will know that those rich chocolate cookies are missing in the morning.
Okay don’t let me frighten you. The truth is the snack you eat are determined by various factors such as the health benefit of the snack. Suppose you have a low glucose level and you need to bring that up fast then maybe a cookie is for you. The way I see it, your snack all depends you your nutritional needs.
How to eat healthy at night
What you eat at night can determine the difference between indigestion, weight gain and other health problems. A cookie and a glass of milk might not be so bad but when it comes to eating before bedtime there are some considerations or things you should know such as what types of foods are easier on the body during rest and how these foods will affect us while they digest.
Did you know that while we sleep this is the time our bodies recoup from the days activities. Our digestive system also need time to recover after it has worked to break down the food and allow the body to absorb the nutrients. Because the body is at rest the energy that would be needed from the foods we eat is not needed then so if we eat immediately before bedtime the energy from the foods we eat then will be stored in the body. The energy used during sleep has already been obtained throughout the day.
It is then important to eat foods that have little food energy also known as calories. There are rare cases where someone might be diabetic and need the glucose to sustain them throughout the night.
Why do we eat at night?
There are several reasons why someone may want to eat at night.
The may have missed dinner
They are on a 6 tiny meal diet and the last meal is in the night
They might be working late and get very hungry
Eating late has become a habit
Cravings due to various reasons such as pregnancy
Do you have a reason to eat at night? Please say so in the comments
What to eat at night
You have to determine what is best for your healthy lifestyle. When I worked in the health and fitness industry I never told clients what to do per say, I gave them the pros and cons of eating healhty and exercising and they decided on their own.
The thing about changing one’s lifestyle or eating habits is that they must want to change. They have to determine what is best for them and what is it they want.
I am not going to say don’t eat cheese cake at night. I wont tell you that eating ice cream is bad for you but if you want to change your eating habits and want to not develop ulcers brought on by indigestion or acid reflux due to undigested food in the stomach then read the suggested foods that might be better for you to eat at night.
Foods that are low on the glycemic Index
Some people are still in confusion as to what the gycemic index is and what low or high glycemic foods are.
The glycemic index – is a rank of food, especially carbohydrates and how they affect blood sugar levels.
High glycemic foods – are those foods that rank higher on the index. These are foods that break down really quickly and are absorbed into the blood stream and stored as sugar instead of being utilized as sustained energy.
Low glycemic foods are the opposite. They take a while to break down all the while being used as energy as the body does its daily bodily functions. Too much however, is not good because the body will only use so much and store the added energy. That’s where weight gain comes in. So even though these foods are essentially healthier they can have a negative effect if eaten in excess.
So basically what I am saying is that foods that are low on the index are better for eating at night. But are all foods on the lower end of the scale recommended for nigth time comsumption?
The answer is no. What we now do is devide the foods based on the time of consumption and the carb and sugar levels in the food. For instance a food higher in carbs must be eaten earlier to give enough time to break down.
Suppose you are already in bed and feel a bit hungry what do you aim for? An apple, carrot, oats? All these foods are low on the glycemic index.
If you are eating three or more hours before bed you may have the oats because it has more carbs and so more sustained energy which you may not use before bed. You will need the extra time for the carbs in the oats to break down.
If you have about an hour left before bed you may have the apple because even with the high water content and fiber it has sugar content to consider and may not be a good idea just before bed.
But if you intend to go straight back to baed with the next fifteen minutes than I suggest the carrots with less carbs and more fiber. This vegetable will curb the hunger with it’s slightly sweet flavour, the fullness and fiber and its high water content. It will not have much energy to offer but you are going to bed so it will suffice.