Late Night Snacks That Are Actually Good for You

Why do you always end up craving something unhealthy as soon as the sun goes down? Between your last meal of the day and bedtime, deciding what to eat doesn’t always end in your health’s favor. These late night snacks are good for you. If you’re craving something late at night, these foods will satisfy your appetite without ruining your diet.

Hard boiled eggs

Hard boiled egg breakfast

Go ahead and have the hard boiled egg. | iStock.com/budgaugh

There are only about 70 calories in an egg. They’re low in saturated fat and high in protein relative to their size. A late night snack packed with protein will ensure that you won’t eat through half the pantry before you finally fall asleep.

If you struggle with the process of boiling and peeling eggs yourself, you can buy packages of pre-cooked, pre-peeled eggs to keep in your fridge. Just grab one whenever those obnoxious cravings hit.

NextAs long as you don’t overdo it on the butter, this is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat.

Air popped popcorn

Popcorn in bowl

Popcorn is a whole grain. | Kitzcorner/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

When you hear about whole grains, you probably immediately picture foods like quinoa or homemade bread. It turns out popcorn, also a whole grain, contains many of the nutrients your body needs to break down and use energy evan as you sleep. Just go easy on the butter and salt and you’re good to go.

NextThis snack isn’t as bad for you as you might think.

String cheese

String cheese, pistachios, and apple

Who doesn’t love string cheese? | iStock.com

You may have heard that cheese contains large amounts of saturated fat and should be avoided. While cheese generally has a high fat content, some of that fat is actually good for you.

If cheese were only made up of saturated fat, it wouldn’t be considered a healthy snack. However, in small amounts — such as a single string of cheese — it’s high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. The carbs are worth the energy in this case.

NextDon’t count this food out as a healthy option when your appetite keeps you up at night.

Dark chocolate

plain dark chocolate and dark chocolate candy bars

Have some dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth. | iStock.com

Are you looking for something sweet that’s actually good for you? Dark chocolate, in small amounts, counts. It contains larger amounts of cocoa, which provides fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Controlling your chocolate consumption isn’t easy. Is it even possible to eat only one ounce and leave the rest in the cabinet for later? It is. Buy bags of individually wrapped dark chocolate instead of giant bars that tempt you to eat a dozen servings in one sitting.

NextDon’t get too nutty over this healthy snack.

Nuts

Assortment of nuts

There are so many nuts to enjoy and try. | Margouillatphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Mixed, unsalted nuts finish off your day with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to hold you over until morning. Nuts aren’t the lowest-calorie snack out there, but they’re worth the extra energy because of their impressive nutrient profile.

A handful of nuts as a late night snack can help keep your weight in check and prevent conditions like heart disease. Keep some in a mason jar on your kitchen counter for quick and easy access.

NextMake sure you choose this type of yogurt if you’re looking for a quick snack.

Greek yogurt

blue ramekin filled with Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. | iStock.com

Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt. Some contain cultures of good bacteria called probiotics that improve your gut health.

You can also substitute some of your favorite, less healthy spreads or toppings with a spoonful of Greek yogurt. It’s a perfect addition to a whole grain bagel. You can even try it on top of a baked (not fried!) potato.

NextSmall portions of these foods go great together.

Cheese and whole grain crackers

Whole Grain Wheat Round Crackers

Cheese and crackers are a tried and true snack. | iStock.com/bhofack2

Both cheese and whole grain crackers provide a variety of healthy ingredients, including healthy fats, plenty of fiber and protein, and worthwhile calories. If you don’t have a box of crackers laying around, you can also melt cheese on top of a handful of healthy chips, like tortilla chips.

NextYou can make this snack in less than five minutes.

Oatmeal

bananas with oatmeal

There are plenty of ways to dress up your oatmeal. | iStock.com

Whole grains like oats provide more nutrition than refined grains. If you want to keep oatmeal in your cabinet in case you need a pre-bedtime snack, stick with plain or original instant oatmeal to avoid added ingredients from flavored packets. You can also buy steel-cut oats that are just as easy to prepare.

It’s standard to make oatmeal using hot water. However, you can sneak in a little extra nutrition if you prepare it with a small amount of unsweetened almond milk.

NextYou won’t feel hungry after you eat this filling snack.

Banana with peanut butter

spooning peanut butter out of the jar

Bananas and peanut butter will fill you up. | iStock.com

Bananas aren’t just good for their potassium. They’re also extremely fibrous, which can fill you up when you need something quick before you go to sleep.

Some peanut butters are highly processed, made with oils and other ingredients that add a little too much unhealthy fat to an otherwise innocent spoonful of goodness. A little saturated fat is okay, but mind your labels wisely.

NextKeep these ingredients close to put together something simple and delicious when you need it.

Turkey slices on bread

Assortment of deli meats

This snack is easy to prepare. | iStock.com

Whole grain bread by itself provides vitamins and minerals to give you energy and keep you healthy. Adding turkey slices on lightly toasted bread gives you the protein you need to halt your sleep-disturbing appetite.

NextThese snacks are simple to make and healthy to eat.

Cheese quesadillas

Quesadilla on plate

You can add whatever you want to your quesadilla. | iStock.com

If dinner didn’t fill you up, this snack might. Quesadillas pair tortillas with generally healthy fillings to create a snack you can nibble on now and then finish for lunch tomorrow.

Corn tortillas, high in dietary fiber and other essential nutrients, serve as the perfect base for a late night snack high in protein. If you want more than cheese on your quesadillas, use vegetables and a source of lean protein to add to your snack.

NextSkip the jelly and try this high-protein spread on your toast instead.

Toast with nut butter

Toast with nut butter

You can add a variety of nut butters to your toast for a healthy snack. | iStock.com

In addition to the health benefits of toast, nut butters offer healthy fats and loads of protein the same way nuts do in their whole form. Spreading almond, walnut, or cashew butter onto your toasts fills you with fiber despite the calories.

Unfortunately, in case you were wondering, Nutella doesn’t count as a healthy nut butter, even though it’s made with hazelnuts. Nice try.

NextThis go-to breakfast actually makes the perfect late night snack.

Milk and cereal

muesli with berries

Make sure you have a healthy box of cereal on hand. | iStock.com/GeorgeDolgikh

Do you crave crunchy snacks like potato chips late at night? Sweet treats, like vanilla ice cream? A bowl of cereal doesn’t sound like a typical midnight snack, but it’s actually the perfect crunchy treat. The healthiest brands offer options high in fiber and protein and relatively low in added sugars.

Looking for a healthy cereal that still tastes amazing? Try some of these healthy options to see which ones you’d like to keep in your pantry from now on.

NextKeep this in your fridge in case you’re too tired to cook something late at night.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese with strawberries

You will get a lot of protein from cottage cheese. | iStock.com

Snacks high in protein, especially late in the day, help you feel fuller faster in a way junk food can’t. Just one cup of cottage cheese contains 23 grams of protein, It’s easy to keep a tub of cottage cheese in your fridge and portion it out quickly when it’s late and you’re feeling hungry.

NextPut this on your toast for a high-fiber snack you’ll actually love.

Avocado toast

Avocado toast on board

This snack is extremely popular for a reason. | iStock.com

Whole grain toast only gets healthier as you add nutritious toppings. Avocado toast makes an excellent late night snack.

The majority of the average avocado’s 9 grams of carbohydrates come from dietary fiber, one of the most important nutrients you can eat to promote healthy digestion, feelings of fullness, and weight loss. Half of an avocado divided between two pieces of toast will fill you up and crush your cravings.

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