There are times when we cannot help but open the fridge or cupboard late at night because we are craving to eat something. This usually happens when we are watching something on TV, playing on the Xbox, reading a book, or when we are just relaxing on the couch. People who work at home are more susceptible to this, mainly if they work late at night.
If this were happening five or ten years ago, we would fill our fridge and cupboards with chocolates, cakes, chips, and other stuff overflowing with calories and whatever else is unhealthy. However, these days, we see a lot of protein and health bars, health drinks, and other similar stuff. So, we now have better options for midnight snacking.
Sadly, though, many people are quite hesitant to try out these products because they think that anything that’s healthy does not taste good; and organic alternatives are usually more expensive. What they should know is the fact that these healthy treats can (and do!) taste just as good as their traditional or “unhealthy” counterparts. Moreover, these healthy options are available practically everywhere – even in 24-hour convenience stores.
Who Needs Midnight Snacks?
Practically everyone needs midnight snacks. More specifically, though, people who work late at night, those who work at home, and those who consider themselves night owls are the ones who need late night snacks. These are the people who are still active even when it is close to midnight.
Likewise, people who go out at night – to bars, to the movie house, to evening school, and even to the gym – also indulge in some midnight snacks. In some cases, people who are under medication might need to eat snacks late at night (ex. people suffering from ulcer or hyperacidity).
Lastly, people who are a bit bored, as well as those who do not eat enough during the day, also tend to take midnight snacks.
What are Guilt-Free Midnight Snacks?
According to several industry experts, if a person eats past eight in the evening, he will gain weight. This might sound believable the first time you hear it, but when you have time to think about it, the “no eating at night” theory does not seem that convincing anymore.
While it is true that the body tends to rest for most of the night, some studies have proven that there is nothing wrong with eating at night. It only becomes wrong when it is the only meal you take for the day, or when you save up all your calories so you can eat all you want at night. It only becomes bad if you do not choose the right late-night snacks. This is what guilt-free midnight snacks are all about.
Guilt-free midnight snacks are the healthier alternative to the traditional snacks that we have all been used to eating. These snacking options are so-called because they do not contain unhealthy or harmful ingredients. As such, you are guaranteed that you will not be taking in too much carbohydrate or too many calories. They are also usually organic, so they are safe even for those who are allergy-prone.
Guilt-free late night or snacks should be rich in protein (but not too much). One of the reasons for this is that you will become full faster if you do so. It is also essential to have enough amino acids in yr midnight snack. Carbs are all right, but not if you are trying to lose weight. However, if you plan to go straight to work – or to action – the morning after that midnight binge, you can go a little heavier on the carbs.
One of ideal late night snacks is nut butter. The reason for this is its fat content; healthy fat, that is. The kind of healthy fat that will not wake you up hungry at 2 am.
Several items are mainstays in the list of ideal midnight snacks. These are what should be on your list.
Milk. A warm glass of milk will help satisfy cravings. Moreover, as it contains tryptophan, a serotonin stimulator, it can also aid in inducing sleep. Some people add flavored protein powder to their milk (skimmed or nonfat, or organic) to make it tastier.
Yogurt. Yogurt has a significant amount of vitamin D and, of course, calcium. However, it also contains a right amount of protein. So, yes, it can make you feel full faster. If you are worried about sugar, don’t be; because this guilt-free midnight snack does not have a lot of it. To add some flavor to your yogurt, you can mix in some fresh fruits. Some strawberries or blueberries, perhaps?
Fruits. Fruits are always and will always be on the guilt-free list. They have high nutritional value, and they are easy to prepare and eat. Bananas are rich in potassium and taste delicious when paired with nut butter. Dried fruits are also good choices.
Cottage Cheese. Cottage cheese has high casein content, so it will be good for muscle tissue repair and for helping you sleep more comfortable. Casein is also helpful if you want to become full fast.
Nut Butters. As mentioned earlier, nut butter is ideal midnight snacks. Aside from its good taste, it is also nutritious. So, it is the perfect healthy dessert. You can spread the nut butter on a banana, on a bagel, or mix it with your favorite shake.
Granola Bars/Trail Mix. This is a combination of nuts, fruits, and seeds; all healthy. Moreover, without you noticing, you will be full in a matter of minutes! Rich in antioxidants, trail mixes, and granola bars are also rich in oils and fats – the right kind.
Gelatin. Because they are rich in proteins, collagen, amino acids, and probiotics. You can use gelatin to make candies, the gummy-like ones.
Popcorn. Go for whole grain popcorn, but don’t choose those that are too salty or buttery. Go for the plain variety and just add a sprinkling of your favorite spice (not too much, though).
Water. Because your hunger may just be thirst. It is also advisable to drink one glass of water before sleeping. For some flavor, squeeze in some lime juice.
What Are the Benefits of Guilt-Free Midnight Snacks?
Aside from satisfying your cravings, guilt-free midnight snacks have other benefits. These are healthy food choices, and this means you are bound to get a lot of nutritional benefits, too, some of which have been previously indicated. Sleep is essential for recovery and eating the right kind of midnight snacks can help you achieve this. So, yes, if you look at it this way, late-night snacking can be good.
Here are some of the most important benefits of guilt-free midnight snacks:
- For people who work out, mainly those focused on resistance training and those who want firmer, stronger muscles, guilt-free midnight snacks that contain casein help them achieve muscle protein synthesis. A dose of casein after exercise but preferably before bedtime can result in a significant improvement in muscle strength and mass. This was the result of research conducted in the Netherlands.
- For people who want to lose weight, guilt-free midnight snacks can be useful in increasing metabolism. The best late-night treats for this are the ones that contain carbohydrates, whey, and casein. Moreover, the snack should be taken at least 30 minutes before going to bed. This is according to a study conducted by Florida State University.
- Some guilt-free midnight snacks are helpful in helping people with weight problems regulate their appetite. The effect it creates is such that the person eating the healthy late-night snack will feel fuller in only a matter of minutes.
- Guilt-free midnight snacks contain significant amounts of protein. As such, they can help athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone who’s active, improve their capacity to burn calories. It will be easier to burn fat because of increased muscle growth. That is what can happen if they ingest some protein before going to sleep.
- Guilt-free midnight snacks are healthier so you will not feel guilty eating them. You do not have to worry about adding calories or overeating fatty food. Moreover, the best thing about it all? They taste just as good as your favorite traditional snack. You will find a guilt-free version of the ice cream you love to eat any time of the day. You will see a healthier version – but just as tasty – as your go-to comfort food. With guilt-free midnight snacks, you finally have a healthy alternative that doesn’t taste bland.
- Guilt-free midnight snacks will help you feel good before sleeping. It is the best comfort food because you do not only get to eat something that’s tasty but also something that’s nutritious and won’t hurt you. Some of these snacks are effective in calming nerves and relaxing tired muscles, beverages like peppermint and chamomile tea.
What are the Precautions of Taking Guilt-Free Midnight Snacks?
It has been a long-time notion that late night or midnight snacking is terrible because it is not healthy. According to a study, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Their research proved that those who eat high-fat diet ‘round the clock, including late at night, are susceptible to several health-related problems. These include high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and damage to the liver, among many others.
According to the researchers of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, this is because our metabolism is not in full force at night and when we are sleeping. So, what happens is that whatever is ingested during that period is not completely processed. They were quick to note, however, that the study’s focus was mainly on what to eat instead of on when to eat.
Choosing the right guilt-free midnight snack is crucial if you want to enjoy its full benefits, including a good night’s sleep and satisfying your cravings.
What are the Best Guilt-Free Midnight Snacks?
Here are five of the best guilt-free midnight snacks.
As previously mentioned, yogurt is an ideal guilt-free midnight snack because it contains significant amounts of vitamin D as well as calcium. It is also rich in protein but has low sugar content. Best of all, it can make you feel full fast – faster than traditional snack varieties. Fage Total 0 Percent Greek Yogurt answers to all these – and to the fact that has absolutely 0% fat. However, the best thing about it is that it tastes good.
- Users like the fact that despite its 0% fat content
- It does not taste bad
- Others say that it is rich and creamy also if it uses nonfat milk
- It is perfect for vegetarians because the protein it contains is, yes, vegetarian protein
- It may not be readily available in grocery stores
A warm cup or glass of milk is always helpful before bedtime. Organic Valley’s 1% Plain Low-Fat Milk is perfect for both kids and adults. It is a non-GMO, gluten-free, no preservatives or artificial ingredients like sweeteners, colors, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics. It is also packed with vitamins (A Palmitate and D3) and protein. This single serve milk to tastes good.
- Does not need refrigeration
- Does not contain harmful ingredients (especially for kids)
- The milk is packaged in cartons
- It is perfect for storing, especially since they have a long shelf life
- It can also be used for cooking
- They are packaged mainly for kids, but they contain low-fat milk, which, according to some parent-users, is not suitable for the little drinkers
Cottage cheese contains casein, which is essential for making you feel full. It also has whey protein, so you are guaranteed that you will feel right in the morning after a good night’s sleep, and as your muscle tissues are adequately repaired.
This organic cottage cheese is a unique guilt-free midnight snack. It is low fat, gluten, and preservative-free, non-GMO, and uses USDA Organic cottage cheese. It also does not contain any synthetic ingredients. The milk used is from cows raised in world-class pastures. It is cottage cheese that tastes good.
- Consumers say Organic Valley’s Organic Low Cottage Cheese is tasty even if it has a sour taste (as it should)
- Ideal for people who might be sensitive to dairy
- Also available in other fruit flavors
- Some consumers complained that it could be a bit watery
- At least one consumer complained about the curd being larger than expected
Popcorn is one of the healthiest and tastiest midnight snacks that anyone can have, especially if it is taken plain and without artificial unflavored. Skinny Pop’s popcorn is gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and made of organic ingredients. It is also rich in fiber. One cup will give you only 39 calories. This non-GMO, no preservatives, and no trans fat popcorn is safe for people who are allergic to peanuts and nut because it does not include a single percent of these.
- Most of the consumers who have tried this product like its taste
- There are also those who like the fact that the product is packed individually, and that they come in a good size
- It is also quite easy to prepare, even your teenage son or daughter can prepare it for the family
- At least two consumers complained that it got to them stale and without the individual bags promised
A trail mix is a healthy and filling snack since they contain edible fats and oils, as well as antioxidants. They are also ideal because they are easy to find. Kirkland’s Signature Trail Mix may have M&M candies, but it also has a lot of other nutritional ingredients. It has peanuts, cashews, almonds, and raisins, among others. These are health nuts, which are perfect for midnight snacking. If you do not like the M&Ms, it is easy to set them apart from the rest. It is delicious and satisfying, and enough to fulfill that craving.
- Delicious trail mix
- A right combination of nuts, with some candies thrown in
- The nuts are plenty, too, so you get your money’s worth
- It also sells for a reasonable price because it is sold in a 2-pound bag
- It is not a healthy or guilt-free alternative
- The first give away for this is the fact that it has M&Ms
- Probably not a healthy choice
Our Choice for the Best Guilt-Free Midnight Snack
The best guilt-free midnight snack for us is Fage Total 0 Percent Greek Yogurt. It is the ideal guilt-free midnight snack because it does not only taste right, it is also filled with nutritious ingredients. Aside from protein, it has calcium and vitamin D.
One of the best things about this yogurt, though, is its low sugar content. Usually, when yogurt tastes right – it is rich and creamy, according to consumers – you will be worried that it has much sugar in it. However, this one does not. Add to all these the fact that has 0% fat. These are all reasons to feel good about eating a late-night snack before going to bed.
What makes this Fage product is the best option is that it gives yogurt an excellent reputation. Most people do not buy or take yogurt seriously because they think it tastes terrible. This product will change the game. Good taste, proper nutrients, and reasonable price—it is a perfect midnight snack deal.
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