Healthy Dining Finder - Ask the Dietitians - Are Late Night Nibbles OK?
Ask the Dietitians
Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

Are Late Night Nibbles OK?

Q: I hear a lot about meal timing and avoiding eating at night. Are those late night nibbles ok?

Studies show the body’s hunger and cravings for sweets, starches and salt intensify at night. Eating later may initially satisfy your hunger or sweet tooth, but that’s also the time of day when you’re not as active. Your body will then simply store the fats and calories you’ve just eaten. Timing of eating is emerging as a hot topic in nutrition science, and some researchers are proposing that eating late at night can be disruptive to our natural metabolism.
Healthy Food

Join the Healthy Dining Club!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers
Try to eat most of your calories, fats and carbs earlier in the day when your body can efficiently process the foods.
Still, if your body is hungry, feed it. You don’t want your body to go into starvation mode, feeling like it needs to save up. Eating keeps your metabolism going, too.
If you do get hungry late at night and you can’t shake the feeling, have a light snack. Just don’t eat anything heavy or spicy at night, because you could get heartburn.
Here are some healthy late night snack suggestions:
  • Nuts such as almonds are an easy snack that can satisfy hunger. A one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds) contains 170 calories and provides healthy fats, protein and vitamin E. Plus, almonds contain magnesium, which helps promote quality sleep.
  • Fruits are great late night snack choices because they’re typically low in calories and saturated fat and high in fiber. For example, eat a banana for a bedtime boost of potassium and vitamin C.  Cherries are another good choice. About 21 cherries make up one serving. They’re rich in vitamin C and potassium and a natural producer of melatonin, which helps you sleep.
  • Ditch the chips and choose instead air popped popcorn, a whole grain snack that is both nutritious and filling. You can eat volume, too – one cup contains only 30 calories! Just be aware that calories can climb quickly with added toppings like cheese and butter.
How do you satisfy late night hunger and cravings without overdoing it?  Staying on track with a healthy lifestyle includes making the best choices at home and eating out.  When you dine out, opt for dietitian-recommended menu choices like these for nutrition and flavor that satisfies:


Ask the RD

Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

More From Healthy Dining Finder
Join The Healthy Dining Club!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers

Top Choice

Chicken Pita at Zoës Kitchen

The best menu choices at restaurants
Read More

School Lunch

Easy and NutritiousIdeas Kids Will Eat

It's not always easy putting together a healthier school lunch that your kids will eat. Try these ideas from SuperKids Nutrition and more this year.
Read More

Pizza Picks

Tips to Order a Diet-Friendly Slice

Are you a pizza lover? According to surveys, there’s a good chance your answer to that question is yes.
Read More

Silver is a New American Brasserie offering all the familiar favorites and healthier choices updated for today’s palate.

It's Free!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers