Healthy Late Night Snacks!Feb 24, 2022
Late-night snacking is relatively common nowadays, so incorporating healthy options is a must! Here are some healthy late-night snacks I enjoy.
Pairing sunbutter with an apple or dried apple is delicious! Match made in heaven! Dried apples aren't as sweet as a regular apple. This is because the sugar gets evaporated during the dehydration process. The healthiest dried apple is from Peeled snacks. They sell them everywhere now, including airports! Just one ingredient: dried organic apple.
Photo courtesy of Sunbutter Instagram.
Sunbutter is roasted sunflower seed butter, and the organic version has just one ingredient: organic roasted sunflower seeds. It’s healthier than peanut butter and even almond butter in its nutritional profile. Sunbutter contains one-third less saturated fat and no trans fat compared to peanut butter. Sunbutter contains almost four times as much vitamin E as peanut butter, and twice as much iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc! Not to be mistaken with the sunbutter variety that has added sugar and salt, this is the “Sunbutter Organic” with just roasted sunflower seeds. Sunbutter also has to-go packs with one serving so people won’t overdo it. Serving size can be tricky so these packs help make it clear what one serving is! Roasted sunflower seeds are nutrient-dense. They contain protein (8 grams for 2 tablespoons!), healthy fats aka brain fuel, and help to stabilize the nervous system. This is a great snacking combo before bed to keep the brain fueled during the night. We don’t want to go to sleep feeling depleted. We sleep better when our brain is fueled.
Sunbutter contains a healthy dose of magnesium, which is 49.8mg. Magnesium is a major mineral that helps to increase total sleep time. Magnesium decreases cortisol at night. Low cortisol helps us achieve restful sleep. Sunbutter also increases our melatonin production which is a natural sleep aid. Melatonin helps you to fall asleep faster! Two tablespoons of sunbutter are rich in the protein tryptophan, which provides the essential amino acid that helps create melatonin, which induces that sleepy feeling.
This isn’t nutritional but almond butter consumption is something people are paying more attention to since it takes 1.1 gallons of water (5 liters) to grow one almond. Environmentalists are switching to sunbutter for this reason since sunflowers barely need watering other than natural rain.
Photo courtesy of Peeled Snacks Instagram.
In conclusion, Sunbutter and dried apples are excellent to have on hand for those late night cravings of sugar and fats.
Another snack brand I recommend to my patients is Bhu Foods! Bhu Food snacks are sweetened with monk fruit. Monk fruit is a sugar that won’t interfere with deep, REM sleep. Monk fruit is a natural small fruit that resembles a melon. The extract contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sodium, and zero fat. It’s remarkable because it’s incredibly sweet, but without all the poor sleep or health consequences.
People with diabetes have to be careful about their sweeteners. As many sweeteners can raise blood sugar or glucose levels and cause insulin spikes. Monk fruit is not sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are highly processed aka not found anywhere in nature. Sugar alcohols have the potential to disrupt the functioning of the lining of the gut. Their fermentation can cause bloating and gas. It is not easily digestible and you don’t want your digestive system to have to work overtime while you sleep. This can lead to waking up feeling exhausted and like you didn’t fully digest what you ate the night before.
Monk fruit is a wholesome choice of sweetener and Bhu products range from 1 gram sugar per serving to 2 grams! So you never have to worry about overdoing it with sugar with these snacks.
Photo courtesy of Bhu Foods Instagram.
Bhu Foods are low carb. The key difference between total carbs and net carbs is that total carbs include all the different types of carbs in a food or meal. These include starches, dietary fiber, and sugars. Net carbs, on the other hand, only include carbs that the body can fully digest into glucose. So this is why people focus on counting net carbs. We want to avoid too many carbs at night as it turns to sugar once digested, which keeps our brain and our nervous system on. Bhu fits perfectly into a keto and paleo diet lifestyle. In addition, Bhu Foods are gluten-free and grain-free. Gluten and grains can contribute to sluggishness, bloating, inflammation, skin issues, and an entire host of other health ailments. They are also vegan and plant-based. I recommend plant-based snacks at night rather than eating animal products, as plants are easier to digest especially at night.
The cookie butter (with apple slices dipped in) or the white chocolate Macadamia nut bites are my favorites!
Having a healthy, delicious snack on hand can help us avoid refined sugar foods and drinks! This is why my pantry is always packed with healthy snacks to avoid craving and giving in to something that will affect my valuable sleep. In this attached study, researchers found that poor sleep quality correlated with high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Healthy snacking at night is an art! It is important to stabilize blood sugar levels. It's estimated that one in two people with type 2 diabetes has sleep problems due to unstable blood sugar levels.