Let’s be honest: everyone loves to eat, and we learn very early on that snack foods are pleasurable. Whether they’re sweet, salty, or cheesy, snack foods are tasty and calorically hefty, and they’re a huge driving force of the obesity epidemic. The average American consumes 500 calories from food and beverages consumed between meals each day (586 for men and 421 for women, respectively). If you’re in need of only 80% of those calories, that’s an extra ten pounds a year!
However, there are times when snacking is in order. If you account for those calories in your daily caloric consumption, there’s nothing wrong with snacking, and it often is necessary: long days, where consumption needs to be stretched out over many hours rather than in three square meals.
We’ve all been in the position where we have calories left to consume before bed: there’s the telltale belly rumble, the void begging to be filled with a nibble or nosh. Bedtime looms on the very near horizon, and now we’re left with a dilemma: go to bed hungry, or eat a smart snack? The smart snack is the more favorable option, but…what makes a smart PM snack, exactly?
According to Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., author of Blood Pressure Down, string cheese is a good choice for a bedtime snack because it provides just enough filling satiety without being too hard to digest, which might disrupt sleep. For a little extra protein, consider wrapping a piece of low fat cheese in a slice or two of deli turkey.
Yogurt The low fat content makes this easier to digest than higher fat dairy products, and probiotics can help reduce indigestion. Top with sliced strawberries or blueberries if you need a little something extra.
Nonfat Chocolate Pudding
Calcium-rich, pudding is the perfect healthy dessert, one that’s easily digested thanks to its low fat content. You can even add a little whipped cream for a quick dessert. Try out one of our non fat puddings.
Bananas have a lower fiber content than other fruits, providing filling satiety and pleasant sweetness without all the fiber-induced burpy-ness of an apple. Eat as is, or blend with ½ cup nonfat milk and cinnamon for a sweet banana smoothie.