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Types of Foods to Avoid Late at Night

The 5 Worst Foods to Eat Late at Night

There's no need to deny yourself a late-night snack if you're feeling hungry, but you still have to think smart when it comes to eating late. Eating the wrong foods will disrupt your sleep while also adding a lot of unneeded calories to your day. Instead of just diving into the nearest, tastiest-looking item in your fridge, here are five types of foods to avoid at night and why.

  1. Greasy or fat-filled foods: Greasy, heavy, fatty foods not only make you feel sluggish the next morning, but they also make your stomach work overdrive to digest all that food. Stay away from things like fast food, nuts, ice cream, or super cheesy foods right before bed.
  2. High-carb or sugary foods: A little bit of something sweet before bed may be just what you need to rest happy, but if you gobble a huge slice of chocolate cake, the spike in your blood-sugar levels could cause your energy levels to spike and plummet, disrupting your sleep in the process. Avoid cake, cookies, or other desserts as well as carby snacks like crackers or white bread and munch on an apple instead.
  3. Red meat and other proteins: Like fatty foods, eating red meats late at night will sit in your stomach and make it hard for you to fall asleep while you're digesting (red meat may affect you the worst, but eating a large portion of chicken or pork would have the same effect as well). You don't have to avoid protein altogether, just make sure you go for lean and small portions, like deli-sliced turkey breast or a cup of yogurt.
  4. Spicy foods: Spices may be a natural cure-all for a range of ailments, but when you're craving something to eat late at night, step away from the hot sauce. Spicy, peppery foods may upset your stomach, and the chemicals in spicy food can also stimulate your senses, making it hard to fall asleep.
  5. Big portions: Late-night snacking shouldn't turn into a late-night meal. Keep the total amount of calories under 200 so you won't have any problems going and staying asleep. You'll also feel good knowing that you didn't undo all your healthy eating habits of the day right before bedtime.

So what should you eat instead? Small, light portions that will also calm cravings and help you sleep. Try incorporating these sleep-inducing foods or these low-calorie late-night snacks that hit all your sweet or salty cravings. And remember to limit how much alcohol you drink as well, since too many drinks can keep you up at night.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
mhewitt94 mhewitt94 4 years
Thank you, for giving us a solution at the end of this article. It's very well written, with some very good tips, thank you.
wyldstallyns wyldstallyns 5 years
 @biggybig it said HIGH carb/fat/protein. It's easy, don't eat anything high calorie or high glycemic :/ if you're that wound up about it, don't eat a damn snack then.
vivsly vivsly 5 years
@NutritionDiva So you are saying I should stop following them on Pinterest? You are the only diva for me.
woodroo woodroo 5 years
next thing they will be telling us that it's bad to have sex before or after you go to bed..
biggybig biggybig 5 years
The entire premise for this article is amazingly stupid. All foods consist of either fats, carbohydrates, or protein. How are you suppose to eat food while avoiding the three components of all food?
Delicious-Diets-Design Delicious-Diets-Design 5 years
Hey hey need to be frustrated. You don't have to stop eating at night. Let me tell you what you can eat. The below foods are the best ones before you go to bed- 1. Bananas 2. Honey 3. Chamomile tea 4. Almonds 5. Oatmeal 6. Warm milk Enjoy a super health...:-)
Sean2385534 Sean2385534 5 years
it's true that the right snack can actually help with sleep (as well as satisfy any late night cravings).  We recently introduced NightFood nutrition bars...they're delicious, convenient, portion controlled, and formulated for better sleep.  Check it out:   Glad to see you guys addressing the importance of eating properly before bed!   Sean Folkson - Founder, NightFood, Inc.  
kapbag kapbag 5 years
From my understanding, apples are dangerous at night as their acidic level could cause problems for some stomachs. 
SaraNoH SaraNoH 5 years
yesterday in my anatomy & physiology class my instructor said, "If you eat something high in protein before bed--say cottage cheese-- you'll have some craaaaazy dreams since that's when your body makes neurotransmitters and neurons. I tried it. It works." Sooo... eat cottage cheese before bed people! :P
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