Sometimes it’s late evening or almost time for bed but you know you won’t be able to sleep because you’re feeling peckish. What are the best foods you can eat that won’t ruin any healthy eating plan you are on? Here are a few ideas you might like to try:
Bowl of Berries
Berries are full of flavour, fibre, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. In other words, a handful of berries will make a nutritious choice for a late night snack.
They can be delicious served plain or topped with yoghurt or low-fat creme fraiche. Opt for seasonal berries when you can for the best nutritional value but any berries will make a great choice.
Bowl of Cereal and Milk
The best night-time snacks should be easy to digest and quite light. A great snack would be something with plenty of carbohydrates because they digest easily. The above protein and fibre combination gives a perfect midnight snack.
The cereal provides you with some fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and it’s also good for those with a sweet tooth. Remember this is a snack, not a meal, so watch your portion size and remember to factor this into your overall calories for the day. Substitute the cow’s milk for soya, rice, hazelnut or almond milk for a healthy variation or to accommodate any specific dietary requirements.
Cheese and Crackers
A quick and easy snack that is guaranteed to hit the savoury spot. The cheese will provide you with protein and whole grain crackers are a good source of fibre.
You will need to keep a close eye on the portion size though so you might want to buy a cheese slicer to help slice any hard cheeses thinly. Add some fresh fruit such as a few grapes or apple slices or even raw vegetables if you need a more satisfying snack.
Fresh Fruit and Nuts
These are an ideal snack at any time and but eaten at night they will keep your hunger at bay so that you can fall asleep more easily.
Fresh fruits contain lots of flavour, fibre, and vitamins. The nuts add minerals and a little protein, so the combination is a nourishing combination that will keep you satisfied so you can fall asleep.
Perhaps try an apple with a few almonds, a banana, and a few pecans, or a pear with a few walnuts. If you don’t have nuts in your store cupboard, you can spread peanut butter on banana slices or dip your apple slices in almond butter. If this butter is too solid and thick for dipping, melt a tablespoon or two of it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds.
Fresh Vegetables and Dip
You might fancy something crunchy late in the evening. In this case, fresh vegetables are ideal. They are full of minerals, vitamins, and fibre, and take a while to eat, so are great if you have an attack of the munchies during the evening. Choose your favourite vegetables and slice them up and even add some sliced fruits to add variety. A light dip such as salsa (check the sugar content) will give you a healthy and satisfying snack that won’t break the calorie bank.
Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich
Remember eating this as a child? Then enjoy eating this late evening snack to feel young again. Use wholegrain bread and spread on some Peanut Butter and Jam. If you prefer Cashew Butter or Almond Butter then go ahead.
Any fruit preserves will work well with the Nut Butters and there are plenty of low-sugar versions available. Also, you might want to try swopping the jam for chopped dried fruit for a healthier alternative or some fruit such as sliced bananas or strawberries. Experiment and find your favourites.
Oatmeal or oats
Oatmeal is warming, soothing, an excellent source of fibre and good for reducing cholesterol.
Whilst Jumbo oats have the highest fibre content, and some say the best flavour, they take slightly longer to cook. Rolled oats are easier and quicker to prepare so may be the best option if you want something quick and easy. Whichever is your choice, you could add some fresh or dried fruit or a few nuts to your oatmeal and you will have a nice, healthy evening snack.
Popcorn is a whole grain and is quite low in calories but high in fibre. Be aware though that there are several pre-popped varieties around that are loaded with butter or sugar so, as always, read the labels.
You can make your own popcorn with a drop of oil, a brown paper bag, and a microwave. Place 100g of un-popped popcorn and one teaspoon vegetable oil in a bowl and mix until the kernels are coated, and then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour popcorn, oil and salt mixture into your brown paper bag and fold the edge of the bag over twice loosely but don’t seal. Place the bag in the microwave and cook at full power for about three minutes or until the popping slows down to about one or two pops per second. There will always be some un-popped kernels, but if you wait for too long, the popcorn will burn.
Wholegrain bread is the healthiest option here. The turkey will give you protein and the bread will give you fibre. You might want to add some salad leaves for a little bit more flavour. Don’t add extra calories with Mayonnaise try Mustard instead.
Yoghurt and Fruit
There are some great zero fat yoghurts on the market but check the labels as they may be high in sugar.
Yoghurts are a great source of calcium, protein and probiotic bacteria. You might want to choose plain yoghurts and flavour them with fruits and nuts.
If you are looking for additional help with inch-loss or need some more advice on healthy nutrition please contact the Devon Clinic on 01803 500300 to book an appointment.