Why do you always end up craving something unhealthy as soon as the sun goes down? Between your last meal of the day and bedtime, deciding what to eat doesn’t always end in your health’s favor. These late night snacks are good for you. If you’re craving something late at night, these foods will satisfy your appetite without ruining your diet.
Hard boiled eggs
There are only about 70 calories in an egg. They’re low in saturated fat and high in protein relative to their size. A late night snack packed with protein will ensure that you won’t eat through half the pantry before you finally fall asleep.
If you struggle with the process of boiling and peeling eggs yourself, you can buy packages of pre-cooked, pre-peeled eggs to keep in your fridge. Just grab one whenever those obnoxious cravings hit.
Air popped popcorn
When you hear about whole grains, you probably immediately picture foods like quinoa or homemade bread. It turns out popcorn, also a whole grain, contains many of the nutrients your body needs to break down and use energy evan as you sleep. Just go easy on the butter and salt and you’re good to go.
You may have heard that cheese contains large amounts of saturated fat and should be avoided. While cheese generally has a high fat content, some of that fat is actually good for you.
If cheese were only made up of saturated fat, it wouldn’t be considered a healthy snack. However, in small amounts — such as a single string of cheese — it’s high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. The carbs are worth the energy in this case.
Are you looking for something sweet that’s actually good for you? Dark chocolate, in small amounts, counts. It contains larger amounts of cocoa, which provides fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Controlling your chocolate consumption isn’t easy. Is it even possible to eat only one ounce and leave the rest in the cabinet for later? It is. Buy bags of individually wrapped dark chocolate instead of giant bars that tempt you to eat a dozen servings in one sitting.
Mixed, unsalted nuts finish off your day with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to hold you over until morning. Nuts aren’t the lowest-calorie snack out there, but they’re worth the extra energy because of their impressive nutrient profile.
A handful of nuts as a late night snack can help keep your weight in check and prevent conditions like heart disease. Keep some in a mason jar on your kitchen counter for quick and easy access.
Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt. Some contain cultures of good bacteria called probiotics that improve your gut health.
You can also substitute some of your favorite, less healthy spreads or toppings with a spoonful of Greek yogurt. It’s a perfect addition to a whole grain bagel. You can even try it on top of a baked (not fried!) potato.
Cheese and whole grain crackers
Both cheese and whole grain crackers provide a variety of healthy ingredients, including healthy fats, plenty of fiber and protein, and worthwhile calories. If you don’t have a box of crackers laying around, you can also melt cheese on top of a handful of healthy chips, like tortilla chips.
Whole grains like oats provide more nutrition than refined grains. If you want to keep oatmeal in your cabinet in case you need a pre-bedtime snack, stick with plain or original instant oatmeal to avoid added ingredients from flavored packets. You can also buy steel-cut oats that are just as easy to prepare.
It’s standard to make oatmeal using hot water. However, you can sneak in a little extra nutrition if you prepare it with a small amount of unsweetened almond milk.
Banana with peanut butter
Bananas aren’t just good for their potassium. They’re also extremely fibrous, which can fill you up when you need something quick before you go to sleep.
Some peanut butters are highly processed, made with oils and other ingredients that add a little too much unhealthy fat to an otherwise innocent spoonful of goodness. A little saturated fat is okay, but mind your labels wisely.
Turkey slices on bread
Whole grain bread by itself provides vitamins and minerals to give you energy and keep you healthy. Adding turkey slices on lightly toasted bread gives you the protein you need to halt your sleep-disturbing appetite.
If dinner didn’t fill you up, this snack might. Quesadillas pair tortillas with generally healthy fillings to create a snack you can nibble on now and then finish for lunch tomorrow.
Corn tortillas, high in dietary fiber and other essential nutrients, serve as the perfect base for a late night snack high in protein. If you want more than cheese on your quesadillas, use vegetables and a source of lean protein to add to your snack.
Toast with nut butter
In addition to the health benefits of toast, nut butters offer healthy fats and loads of protein the same way nuts do in their whole form. Spreading almond, walnut, or cashew butter onto your toasts fills you with fiber despite the calories.
Unfortunately, in case you were wondering, Nutella doesn’t count as a healthy nut butter, even though it’s made with hazelnuts. Nice try.
Milk and cereal
Do you crave crunchy snacks like potato chips late at night? Sweet treats, like vanilla ice cream? A bowl of cereal doesn’t sound like a typical midnight snack, but it’s actually the perfect crunchy treat. The healthiest brands offer options high in fiber and protein and relatively low in added sugars.
Snacks high in protein, especially late in the day, help you feel fuller faster in a way junk food can’t. Just one cup of cottage cheese contains 23 grams of protein, It’s easy to keep a tub of cottage cheese in your fridge and portion it out quickly when it’s late and you’re feeling hungry.
Whole grain toast only gets healthier as you add nutritious toppings. Avocado toast makes an excellent late night snack.
The majority of the average avocado’s 9 grams of carbohydrates come from dietary fiber, one of the most important nutrients you can eat to promote healthy digestion, feelings of fullness, and weight loss. Half of an avocado divided between two pieces of toast will fill you up and crush your cravings.