Healthy late-night snacking
The common rule is to not eat anything two to three hours before you head to bed. Trying to watch what and when you eat, however, can be difficult if you get the munchies at night, a few hours after dinner. If you’re stomach is grumbling, you don’t have to starve yourself! Here are some healthy late-night snacking options that aren’t heavy or rich in calories.
These delicious immature soybeans still in the pod are commonly grown in Japan, China and Hawaii and make for a delicious low-calorie, healthy snack. Just half a cup of edamame (already shelled) gives you 9 grams of fibre and 11 grams of protein at only 120 calories. Snacking on 1/2 a cup of shelled edamame provides you with 10 per cent of your daily requirement for vitamin C and iron, as well as 8 per cent of your daily intake for vitamin A and 4 per cent of your daily intake for calcium. This is one snack you can feel guilt-free munching on!
Besides being a great source of calcium and healthy bacteria, fat-free yogurt makes for a healthy, low-calorie snack. If you don’t like plain yogurt, try adding blueberries, strawberries or blackberries and a touch of sweetener for a healthy treat. Many brands of yogurt also offer fat-free, no-sugar-added flavoured yogurts at only 35 calories a serving.
Veggies and yogurt dips
Prepare for your late-night cravings by having cut up veggies and keeping yogurt dips in your fridge. Opt for cucumbers, celery and broccoli over carrots, which are higher in natural sugar. Many grocery stores carry low-in-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt dips, which are a healthier alternative to regular cream-based dips.
Fibre-rich cereal and skim milk
Opt for fibre-rich cereals like whole-wheat or bran-based cereals that tend to be lower in sugar and higher in natural fibres. Check the nutrition label to make sure the sugar content is low (no more than 7 grams of sugar per serving). If your cereal is too plain for your craving, add berries and a hint of sweetener for a healthy late-night treat.
Whole-grain crackers and natural peanut butter
If you’re craving something salty and filling, this snack will do the trick. Whole-wheat crackers are high in fibre and low in fat and sugar, so they tend to be lower in calories (be sure to check the nutritional panel). Natural peanut butter is simply made of peanuts, is free of sugar and naturally filling. Dipping a few crackers in a tablespoon of peanut butter will fill you up and is way more nutritious than chips.
Berries are sweet, healthy and lower in natural sugar than any other fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and wild berries make delicious, guilt-free, late-night snacks that are actually better than eating natural fruits high in sugar, like grapes or oranges. These high-fibre super-fruits —blueberries in particular — are also rich in antioxidants, making them an obvious healthy snack at any time of the day or night!