Eating past 8pm has been taboo for some time, but realistically, the reason you’ve gained weight or been unable to lose weight, more likely has more to do with what you’re eating and how much you’re eating, as opposed to the time of day you’re eating. If done properly, late night snacking can offer some surprising benefits! Eating the right protein can help you build muscle while you sleep, while eating low-glycemic carbs at night can help control your blood sugar the next day.
Chocolate is often on the no-no list, but not all chocolate is equal. There is a big nutritional difference between your average milk chocolate candy and cacao-rich dark chocolate. Dark chocolate lacks the high added-sugar content of traditional milk chocolate while instead providing antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, fight inflammation and improve your mood. Have 1-ounce of your favorite dark chocolate that is 70% cacao or greater.
Pistachios in-the-shell are an excellent nighttime snack because shelling them takes some work, which will slow down how fast you can eat them. The slower you eat any snack, the less you will consume overall. Another upside with pistachios is that you get to eat more nuts, per ounce, (49 nuts!) than any other nut. Getting to eat more, while having to eat them slower makes pistachios one of the best late night choices. In addition, pistachios contain fiber, biotin, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, unsaturated fats and plant sterols, all of which makes them highly nutritious, as well as satisfying.
The cold sweetness of frozen blueberries is quite enjoyable at the end of the day. Frozen blueberries are packed with just as many high-powered antioxidants as the fresh ones because they are flash frozen at peak ripeness. Blueberries are one of the best foods that you can eat – anytime of day – for your health. Research has shown that the nutrients in blueberries can help improve brain function and heart health.
Nuts have long been thought of as a bad snack food for weight loss due to their high fat content; however, a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate almonds lost just as much weight during an 18-month study compared with those who didn’t eat almonds. Almonds are also high in magnesium, which aids in relaxation and can improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels – two key cardiovascular disease risk factors. Pick up 1/4 cup of raw almonds or toast then with curry or chili powder for a kick!