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Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

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Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

There’s rarely anything more satisfying than having a late-night snack or meal before bed! I’m guilty of indulging myself! I’m also guilty of indulging in some foods that scientists and health experts argue are the worst food choices to eat at night. The below list describes the top-ten health-killing foods you shouldn’t eat before you go to bed.

1. Cheese

Cheese is fattening and easy to over-eat on. Cheese should be eaten in very strict moderation. Cheese is high in saturated fat and cholesterol,  and too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease.

2. Citrus

Too many fruits can lead to gas at night, and makes digestion more complicated because sugar ferments. If you must eat some fruit before bed, try not to eat more than a cup.

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3. Spicy Food

Spicy or hot foods stimulate your senses, and they have the ability to give heartburn or contribute to an upset stomach, and no one wants that before bed.

4. Fatty Food

Pizza, burgers and French-fries taste great, but they aren’t great to your body, so don’t eat them at night. They can mess up your digestive system and help you pack on the pounds. You’ll feel horrible the next day, zapped of the energy you need to make your day productive.

5.  Red Meats

Red meats are hard to digest. That’s why you shouldn’t eat them at night. It will be harder to fall asleep if you do eat red meat directly before bed.

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6.  Cereals

It is very difficult to follow serving suggestions for cereal, so if you’re watching your weight, it’s best to eat it in the morning but not late at night.

7. Vegetables

I know I threw you off with my suggestion to lay off of fruits and citrus before bed, but you are probably shocked vegetables make the list. Some vegetables are not ideal to eat before bed. Celery, for example, celery is a diuretic. According to this article, a diuretic increases the rate of urination. It’s counter-productive to eat these types of vegetables, because you’ll be waking up more than usual at night to use the restroom instead of getting a good rest.

8. Junk Food

Chips and salsa, popcorn, and all that other comfort food. Let it go. It’s not helping you sleep better, lose weight, or be healthy.

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9. Sweets

Put down that ice cream cone, candy bar, or piece of chocolate, because they are officially off limits before bed! Yes, these things can be considered comfort foods, but these same comfort foods are loaded with fat! Sugar also keeps you up longer! It’s not the type of combination you want while you’re trying to go to bed!

10. Bread

Unless you’re trying to gain weight, eating bread before going to bed is a horrible idea.  The carbs in bread can make you hungrier at night, and cause you to overeat.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this article and see for yourself! Then explore the internet and check out other suggestions.  Many of the things I’ve listed here, are the same things health experts elsewhere will tell you to avoid.

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Some things weren’t listed here because they were obvious or not considered food, but here are some other suggestions: do not drink alcohol before bed, do not drink too much water before bed, and be sure to not drink coffee before bed.  Soda also follows under the do-not-drink directly before bed list. Some experts suggest not eating at all three to four hours before bed.

For a list of suggested healthy night-time snacks, click here.

Your health and well-being matter! Take them into your hands and make better choices for your personal happiness!

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Featured photo credit: food via imaginalhealth.com

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Emina Dedic

TEFL Instructor, Traveler, Professional Writer, Model

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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