A New York Times subscriber asked the newspaper which snacks are the best to consume before going to bed. The reader specifically asked which snacks would be best to eat an hour or two before going to sleep. Roni Caryn Rabin of the New York Times took this question and did some research by asking experts and looking at surveys. Here is what he found and reported in the New York Times.
A spokeswoman at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests that bedtime snacks be light. She says that you should try to limit the calorie content of snacks to around 100-200 calories or 300 at most. Isabel Maples of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also recommends that these light night snacks be foods that are nutrient dense and that you may lack in your diet otherwise. This should be foods like fresh or dried fruits and veggies with some dip. Another option is some nuts or trail mix or some whole grain crackers or snacks.
While such snacks described above may be considered healthy, it is important to realize that many surveys have linked constant snacking to weight gain. If your weight is healthy and you exercise, then the effects of snacking should be minimal. If you are struggling with your weight or want to lose weight, then you should try to eliminate or limit snacking as much as you can. One survey found that people can get up to a quarter of our total calories from snacks.
Other good snacks recommended by the experts that Roni Caryn Rabin interviewed include cottage cheese, plain yogurt, oatmeal and a glass of milk. Good fruits to snack on include bananas and apples. Mixing in fresh fruits into yogurt or oatmeal is a good and healthy idea as a snack. A whole grain cereal is another healthy snack choice. Raw veggies with a dip are another snack idea. You can also try whole grain crackers or pita chips with cheese.
You should aim to have a snack that has both a good source of carbohydrates and a significant amount of protein. Both carbs and proteins will make you feel full and provide you with that energy and nutrients to satisfy hunger. A light popcorn snack may also fit your bill says Laura Smith of Weight Watchers.