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Last Updated on September 26, 2022

6 Healthy Snacks To Eat At Night When Hunger Strikes

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6 Healthy Snacks To Eat At Night When Hunger Strikes

As much as we’d like to sleep early and follow a good routine, there are times when we catch ourselves craving something way past our dinner time.

Since you’re here, it’s safe to say that you lost the battle and are in need of help. I am sure we all know that eating late at night has its repercussions on health and weight. So, what do you do when you’re super hungry and can no longer take it?

The answer is to find healthy snacks to eat at night. It’s important to choose a healthy snack because research shows that poor food choices are usually made at night, which leads to the overconsumption of calories.[1]

6 Healthy Snacks to Eat at Night With Little Guilt

Here are several snack ideas to help curb hunger.

1. Popcorn

Who said popcorn was only for the movies? Popcorn can be a delicious and healthy snack that can satisfy your cravings if done the right way. It is packed with whole grains and fiber, which can be beneficial for certain health problems.[2]

Popcorn is a great snack to eat at night since it does not have a dense caloric value yet has high satiety and can be easily modified to be healthier. The trick behind making healthier popcorn is to make it from scratch using the air popping method or over the stove with minimal oil.

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The best part about making your own popcorn is that you can make it whatever way you want while controlling exactly what goes in and how much of each seasoning you add. Why not make it fun and try out different popcorn recipes and modify them to your liking.

2. Whole Fruits or Fruit Smoothies

If you’re the type of person who craves sugary foods, then this is the perfect healthy snack to eat at night. This snack is simple, delicious, and nutritious. Not only do you get a bunch of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but you also get to experience the natural sweetness of fruits.

At night, it is best suggested to avoid sugary foods to avoid the sugar rush. In the American diet, it was found that sugar-sweetened beverages were the primary source of added sugar.[3] Rather than grabbing a sweet beverage, try reaching for whole fruits or make your own smoothie bowls.

There are low-sugar fruits out there packed with vitamins and fiber. Fruits such as strawberries, peaches, and honeydew melon are known to have lower contents of sugar compared to bananas and mangoes making them great healthy snacks to eat at night. [4]

3. Rice Cake Snacks (Or as a Base)

Looking for something crunchy and light? Rice snacks are perfect for those looking for delicious texture snacks. You can eat it on its own or as a base for your favorite topping or nut butter.

Rice snacks are puffed and expanded grains that are molded into mini cakes. They are crispy and have a neutral taste, which makes them perfect for any savory or sweet snack. The best part is that they are low in calories and can pair with so many things.

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Rice cake snacks can be made at home and are pretty simple to do. However, if you’re not into the drying process, there are always other options.

If you’re looking for a quicker way to access them, I’d recommend the Quaker rice cakes. Quaker rice cakes come in many flavors and are generally low in calories. Depending on the flavor you choose, there are slight variations in nutrition.

Despite how great rice cakes are, it’s fair to warn you that rice cakes are not nutrient-filled and can generally fall into the empty-calorie category. That’s why it’s important to be creative about the kind of toppings that you use.[5]

4. Air Fried or Dehydrated Vegetables

More often than not, a bag of chips is on the top of the list of the most loved snacks to eat at night. The crispy and savory aspects of chips are mouth-watering and satisfying to eat. Although they are some of the best-tasting snacks, they can fail miserably, nutrition-wise.

Chips are deemed unhealthy due to the sodium and fat that are added.[6] They are often deep-fried and contain a lot of calories.

The problem with eating late at night can be attributed to the fact that most people tend to overeat and choose foods that are high in calories.[7]

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With that being said, trying air-fried or dehydrated veggies chips can be a great healthy snack to eat at night. Air-fried or dehydrated vegetable chips contain very little or no oil at all. This is a perfect way to make your chips a bit healthier. You also have total control over the salt and seasonings that are added.

Remember that even though these are alternative options to the wide variety of “junk food” out there, this still contains calories. Remember that the goal is to make sure that you are not overeating at night.[8]

5. Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are one of the simplest and most nutritious snacks that you can easily whip up at night. Not only are they satiating, but they also have numerous health benefits.

Eggs are a moderate-calorie source, rich in vitamins and minerals, and the lowest costing animal source for proteins.[9] You will feel guilt-free knowing that you’re eating a nutritious snack at night.

Eggs are known to contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that support your health. By simply consuming an egg yolk, you’ll be getting all the vitamins except for vitamin C. You can get a highly concentrated protein content from the egg whites and the egg yolk.[10]

The best part is that eggs are widely accessible and are easy to prepare. You can enjoy your eggs simply boiled and peeled, or you can add a bit of salt or any seasoning you prefer if that is too plain for you.

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6. Nuts

Another great snack to have in your cupboard is nuts. Snacking on a handful of nuts can help curb the late-night cravings and even give you the extra pick-me-up throughout the day. Not only are they crunchy and tasty, but are also packed with fiber, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and other substances that are great for your heart. [11]

Be aware that some store-bought nuts contain high levels of sodium and can be overly seasoned. If you’re looking for a healthy late-night snack, chances are that you’re looking to head to bed shortly after.

Opt for nuts like almonds and pistachios that have high levels of melatonin and antioxidants. [12]. Like the other listed late-night snacks, it’s about portion control and keeping tabs on what and how much goes in your body.

Try it Out

If you really can’t help yourself and need to satisfy that late-night hunger pang, try these healthy snacks to eat at night. Remember, the key is to make good choices because we all tend to choose high-calorie snacks that can lead to overeating.

There are plenty of other foods that are best to eat at night, which you can add to your list so that you have a wider variety catered to your needs. See what works for you and what can satisfy your cravings without short-changing your nutrition.

Featured photo credit: nrd via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Joshleen Marmol

Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian, Sports Nutrition Specialist and creator of The Upward Fall

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