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9 Worst Late Night Snacks

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Cheap Chinese
Not to say all Chinese is a bad choice, but many of those local spots spike their fare with MSG, a food additive used for flavor enhancement. It can trigger a number of digestive discomforts since it takes the body longer to break it down and may cause other short-term reactions. MSG is most commonly found in heavy, deep-fried entrees, so avoid those at the very least.

Other Artificial Ingredients
Whether it’s fast food (full of artificial flavors and coloring), or anything labeled “low sugar” or “low fat,” it’s probably laced with fake sweeteners. “These go largely unrecognized in the body,” says Lindsay Segal, a physician’s assistant in training. “Your body tries to clean it out by digesting it, and this means you’re absorbing some of the chlorinated molecules in the sweeteners.”

Breakfast Cereal
Okay, before you totally flip, I’m not talking about avoiding all cereals. I’m a huge fan of breakfast foods and have spent many blissful nights chowing down on Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Well, blissfully ignorant no more—scarfing down a high-sugar, high-processed cereal like that is no good for anyone who has hopes of sleep in their her future. The sky-high sugar content spikes our blood sugar, making it hard to catch any ZZZs.

Steak and Other Red Meat
I always love finding another reason to shun the low-carb lifestyle. Red meat falls into the prolonged digestion category, too. Our bodies take longer to break down fat and protein, and there are loads of both in a big, juicy steak. All that extra work requires extra energy, which perks us up. A good steak is great, but best enjoyed during dinnertime at the latest.

Canned Soup
Even the “healthiest” soups from a can are rough on our shuteye patterns, thanks to the often mile-long ingredient lists and hefty helpings of sodium. These liquid preservative bombs are usually loaded with salt and additives, harming our ability to fall asleep easily and making it likely that we’ll wake up feeling dehydrated from all that sodium.

Beans
Okay, these are normally a healthy choice because of their high fiber content, but this is what makes them a rough nighttime choice. These, as we all know, can have an awkward effect on digestion, leaving us trying to sleep amid heartburn and cramps, not to mention grumbles from your bed partner.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Insomnia,

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140 comments

+ add your own
11:58PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

great info! thanks!

4:46PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

Thanks.

8:28PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

thanks

2:14AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Thanks for the great info.

1:41PM PDT on May 1, 2011

Nice to know.

6:12PM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Thanks for the info!

8:16AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Thank you for the info

8:02PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

I don't even eat these foods anyways! I usually eat organic foods from Whole Foods! Well, thanks for this awesome article! :D

1:58AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

When I was a college kid, I used to be able to eat anything, until I was about 22-23...

I always make home made soups, and well, I always cook extra so I can make "TV dinners" to put into the freezer.

Good to know I can have my steak and eggs breakfast, and I guess I'll just have to eat my spicy for lunch then.

What will help is to lay on your left side, which helps aid in digestion.

9:55PM PDT on Apr 22, 2011

I think it is a norm with all young people to indulge in late night snacking all over the world, I cannot even stop my own children as the lifestyle of today is such BUT I would like to mention here that in India our elders like my grandparents and even my mother ALWAYS USED TO INSIST to finish food by 8.30pm latest and would not allow anything after that as she said as much you need rest your digestive system also needs rest. But in today's time when the work regime pushes well into 8.30pm where can this norm be adhered to that's why we have so many young obese people around with all sorts of ailment in their 30s

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