Should you snack at night?
It’s just past midnight, your stomach is growling, and your mind wanders to your pantry. Should you give in to your craving? That depends.
Late-night or midnight snacking isn’t usually a great idea—especially if you are intermittent fasting—but sometimes you need a little something to tide you over until breakfast. And that’s OK if you make a healthy choice, says Robin Foroutan, RDN, an integrative medicine dietitian at the Morrison Center in New York City and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“If you know you’re not going to sleep because you’re hungry, then having a snack might be a good idea,” she says. “It can also be a good idea for those whose blood sugar dips too low during the night.”
But if nighttime snacking is becoming the rule and not the exception, take a closer look at your eating habits and food choices during the day, she says.
If you crave the occasional midnight munchie, you are not alone; there’s even a cottage industry that now caters to late-night snackers with “sleep-friendly” treats that contain ingredients known to promote sleep and relaxation.
From sweet to savory and everything in between, here are 11 healthy late-night snacks nutritionists actually recommend. After, check out the questions nutritionists get asked the most.