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Ask Dr. Nandi: Got the Midnight Munchies? Try these 4 substitute snacks

Posted: 4:48 PM, Mar 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-02 21:48:11Z

It’s the end of the day, you’re tired but instead of heading to bed, you find yourself in the kitchen raiding the cupboards and fridge.

Late night snacking is no stranger to many of you. And giving in every now and then is nothing to beat yourself up about.  

But if you make this a habit, you could run into potential problems like messing up your metabolism and gaining extra weight.  

However I get it that some nights you just need to eat something – it happens to me too.  So here’s what I do, I chose a healthier snack.  

Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, try popping some popcorn. You’ll still get that salty crunch you’re craving along with antioxidants and fiber. But skip the butter and flavor it with a little cinnamon or spice it up with some turmeric.

Another favorite snack of mine is dark chocolate. It’s not only satisfying but could also reduce a little stress in your life. Just be sure to stick to one ounce per day.   

My kids will personally endorse this next snack, frozen peanut butter. Freeze it alone or spread it on bananas before placing in the freezer. Peanuts have been linked to a reduced risk of mortality and also been shown to have protective effects against cancer and heart disease.

And my last approved late-night snack is dark pitted cherries They’re delicious and sweet and will boost your vitamin C. They also increase melatonin in your body that can help you sleep. 

I recommend any late-night snacks be as small as possible. Portion control is important here.

To help you make better late-night decisions here are my prescriptions:

  1. Be sure you’re snacking because you’re actually hungry and not bored, sad, stressed or depressed. 
  2. Don’t sit in front of the TV mindlessly eating. I want you to pay attention to the food that goes into your mouth and savor the flavor.  
  3. Instead of reaching for food, try filling your stomach with a beverage like hot tea. Just make sure it’s decaffeinated.
  4. If you’re often snacking at night take a look at what you’re eating throughout the day. Overly-restricted daytime diets could be the root cause. 

I would recommend you eat balanced nutritious meals with protein and fiber that keep you feeling full longer. You’ll not only provide your body with healthy fuel throughout the day but also keep late-night snacking to a minimum.