If you're still operating under the old assumption that all foods are off limit after the sun goes down, it's time to update that misconception. While no health expert would advise filling up on foods right before bed, there's no shame is having a healthy, light, small nibble to keep you satisfied and to help you fall asleep better. But there's one food that you might be turning to — because it's just too darn easy and there's a good chance you have it in your pantry at all times. And it's one that nutritionists really wish you would stop eating after 8pm.
It's time to separate fact from fiction when it comes to cereal. A bowl of crispy cereal with milk makes for a satisfying snack before bed and it certainly does a great job of relieving the munchies. But sugar-filled cereals — and most commerical brands are just that: loaded with refined sugars and fructose corn syrup — can send your blood sugar soaring and then crashing. If this happens while you're sleeping, it can cause a less restful night's sleep — not to mention the fact that you'll wake up feeling as if you haven't eaten in days.
The good news is that all cereals aren't off limits. Check labels carefully and choose brands that contain whole grains and contain fiber. A cup of cereal is fine — but pouring yourself a bog bowl before bedtime isn't going to help you feel well rested.
A Better Alternative: Greek Yogurt
If you're on the fence about which late-night snack to choose, it's wise to opt for one that contains protein, is low in fat and carbs, but is also light enough to not weigh you down (no one is suggesting you run out and grill a steak before you hit the sheets). A small cup of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries thrown in is perfectly satisfying and healthy. You can even stir in a teaspoon of natural honey if you're missing that sugary cereal fix.