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Eating At Night: Foods You Should Eat, Foods You Should Skip

10/24/2014 09:38 EDT | Updated 10/24/2014 09:59 EDT
Jill Giardino via Getty Images

If midnight snacking is a common occurrence in your household, make sure you're eating the right foods.

We may all get tempted to have a carbalicious meal before bed, or pile up on fast food after drinking, but late night unhealthy snacking can interfere with how our bodies process food. Not to mention the extra amounts of fat, sodium, sugar and lack of fibre you're adding to your diet.

"It's recommended not to consume a large amount of calories before bed because the majority of people tend to be less active in the evening," says registered dietitian Susan Watson of Winnipeg-based A Little Nutrition. "That means you are not going to be burning off the calories consumed (whereas you may be burning them off during the day)."

But Watson says the bigger problem with late-night eating is snacking when you're not even hungry. "Eating in the evening becomes mindless, fulfilling boredom, or habitual, like snacking in front of the TV."

However, this is not to say you need to lock up your fridge after 7 p.m. Watson instead suggests avoiding foods that are highly processed, caffeinated, salty, and foods that are high in refined and processed sugar. As far as calories go, we should aim for snacks with less than 200.

"If you struggle with wanting to go back to the chip bag, than maybe it is the type of snack you are consuming. The best types of foods to eat in the evening are whole, unprocessed foods that don’t leave you craving more," she says.

Here are 13 snacks Watson recommends that are healthy, easy to make and generally inexpensive. What's your favourite late night healthy snack? Let us know in the comments below:

Foods You Can Eat Before Bed