Snacking at night: Is it a good idea?
Snacking on small meals as fillers between meals is a good thing. It essentially helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and helps to keep energy levels steady too. Also, the right kind and quality of snack can help with the feeling of fullness and thus help in preventing obesity.
Considering the benefits of snacking the important question here is – Is a midnight snack a good idea?
Well, the answer is yes and a no! It is more dependent on what the snack is made up of! It is worth mentioning that the body’s metabolism in the day is higher as compared to the night. Hence, the calories are burnt faster in the day and it is imperative to consume the right quality of a midnight snack to ensure the calories are not stored as body fat, increasing weight.
It is okay to indulge in the right kind of snacks and imperative to avoid processed or packaged foods.
Let’s have a look on how to manage the midnight hunger pangs:
1. Eat every 2-4 hours, this help to keep stable blood sugar and energy levels avoiding the hunger prangs at night.
2. Ensure 3 servings a protein, ideally for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Start the day with cinnamon water, this helps with balance of blood sugar levels.
4. Consume magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews, these help to balance blood sugar levels.
5. Omega-3 foods help with insulin sensitivity helping to prevent cravings. Try foods such as alsi (flaxseeds), fatty fish and walnuts.
What can be a healthy midnight snack?
1. Kala chana salad: This is a mixture of boiled chana mixed with onion, tomato, herbs, spices and lime. It is a complex carbohydrate, rich in fibre and protein - that helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels and prevents the insulin spike associated with weight gain, especially at night.
2. Moong bean sprouts: Sprouted moong beans salad is an excellent midnight snack since it helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels and has a high satiety value. These are rich in fibre that helps to aid digestion and antioxidants that help to lower inflammation in the body.
3. Healthy nuts like walnuts and almonds can be consumed as a complete snack or mixed with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Powdered nuts can also be consumed with milk or curd.
4. Curd raita: This is a wholesome meal packed with a low amount of carbs, protein and fibre makes it an excellent midnight snack.
5. Peanut salad: Peanuts are a good source fats and topping it up with some fibre-rich ingredient like tomato, onion, herbs and coriander is a good idea.
6. Boiled eggs: This is a good source of protein and fat that helps with a feeling of fullness with no insulin spike or weight gain.
Eat real food; basically ditch convenient packaged foods. These lead to inflammation and compromise the gut health and lead to food sensitivities resulting in brain fog, disrupts hormonal balance resulting to unwanted fat percentage and imbalance in neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This hampers your gut feeling or increases anxiety, negatively impacts productivity and performance of the body. Make the right choices when hunger strikes at the midnight hour!
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