Midnight Snacks

After a hard nights work of cramming for an exam or perfecting the closing paragraph on that essay, sometimes we like to reward ourselves with a little treat. Looking through the pantry or fridge, it can be difficult to pick the perfect 1a.m. snack. Sweet or salty? We want to indulge but at the same time we know how bad it is to eat at night.. or do we?

Since I was young I have been raised thinking that eating past a certain time was bad for you. I was told that your metabolism wouldn’t burn it off and naturally I believed it. My grandpa doesn’t eat after 7PM and for lent we would sometimes give up eating past a certain time. But looking at some research, I came to the conclusion that it really isn’t as bad as it was made out to be. According to this article , eating before bed can actually be good for you. For one thing, it will stabilize your blood sugar levels so that when you wake up, you will have energy for the day to come. It also can promote weight loss in a sense because it makes it possible to burn fat during the night.

fridge with food

The article even says how a snack before bed can actually give you the energy to burn off other food as well as give you the energy to get a good night sleep. And yes, you do need energy to sleep well which is a common misconception. But of course, it is the right food selection which is key. Obviously eating foods that aren’t good for you in the first place won’t magically turn better for you in the nighttime. Eating complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables, etc. These healthy foods will only benefit your night sleep whereas something high in sugar will not. As well as those, healthy fats are also recommended like peanut butter, nuts, avocado and so on. With the right combination of foods, your blood sugar levels can stabilize and Glucagon can do what it does best, burn fat.

After reading all of this, I don’t know if my mind will really change. I guess it could be worth a shot, but who’s midnight snack is going to be vegetables or nuts? (Definitely not me). During finals week though I guess it seems logical since we will be up late and would rather not gain weight. What do you guys think? Did you eat at night to begin with? Did you already know that eating the right foods at night wasn’t bad for you? Let me know! (And don’t be like this girl who’s eating a bowl of crackers out of the fridge.. what?)

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8 thoughts on “Midnight Snacks

  1. Matthew J Overmoyer

    This post seems to be making a very logical argument. Eating before bed isn’t magically bad for us (We aren’t Gremlins). But, eating before bed also doesn’t suddenly make unhealthy foods healthy either. As you point out it increases blood sugar helping you get a good nights rest, and it can help you burn calories while sleeping. Your post was straightforward and helpful.

  2. Sarah Tarczewski

    I’m also a person who enjoys a nice late-night snack after finishing all my work. Typically I’ll also go for something not-so-healthy, like a nice hot bowl of Easy Mac. After reading this post, I might consider switching my traditionally unhealthy meal for something like an apple or some almonds. It definitely won’t be as satisfying, and it’ll certainly take some convincing for my body to accept it, but it’ll probably be better for me in the long run.

  3. Amira A. Oloufa

    I love this blog because my dad always tells me to not eat after 7pm and makes me feel so guilty if I do. He stops eating and 7 and rarely makes exceptions. I am definitely a night owl so midnight snacks are something I know all too well. But I never knew that a healthy snack before bed could be beneficial, I am going to try this tonight.

    1. Caroline Sorrentino Post author

      Yes do it! Tell him as well! I think it’s just an adult thing, they were brought up that way and think we need to be as well. I doubt his mind would be changed much like my grandpas wouldn’t be but its worth a shot so that at least they wont make us feel bad anymore! Let me know how it goes.

  4. Melissa Lee

    My mother has always told me to never eat food late at night. I did not always listen to her of course because I just loved snacking on chips at night. But i definitely do believe that eating the right food before going to bed makes the difference. Many college students at Penn State love grabbing late night foods like pizza or wings. This article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/van-winkles/dont-eat-pizza-before-bed_b_7805060.html points out why you should not eat pizza before bed. This might be hard to hear from any college students. But i highly doubt any college students going to be grabbing vegetables over pizza for their midnight snack. Do you think Penn State should stop going to places like Canyon Pizza at night?

    1. Caroline Sorrentino Post author

      Yes!!! I personally have never tried canyon but I’ve had my fair share of McDonalds, Insomnia Cookies and DP Dough. I mean come on, these places have to be open late at night just to taunt us?? Why are no salad places or smoothie stores open at night? It’s a pretty weird concept but I think Penn State students should cut back if they aren’t trying to gain weight.

  5. Alex Felton

    I have always been so skeptical about this argument. I’m the type of person to eat crazy foods before I go to sleep like doritos or like even Wendys (always what I’m craving at midnight). Obviously these foods are bad for you in the first place so when i wake up with a stomach ache I am never surprised. I could definitely see why a light snack or even a piece of fruit could be good before sleep.

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