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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.

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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+ add your own
1:10PM PST on Feb 9, 2015

Thank you for the interesting article :)

6:21AM PST on Feb 9, 2015

I "learned my lesson" on canned soup when I was pregnant. I was swelling up like a balloon. My doctor asked, "What ARE you eating?" I replied, "I know I'm getting fat, but I've cut back about as much as I dare." "Who told you that you're getting fat?" "My husband" "Well, you AREN'T getting fat." He pushed gently on my skin and pointed out the dimple left when he removed his finger. "That's water. What are you eating? What did you have for lunch?" "Not much. Just some soup and a dill pickle." "CANNED soup? NO. And there's more sodium in that dill pickle than you should have in a whole day."

Of course, the next step was for him to tell hubby to stop telling me I'm fat. He responded with, "It's OK, pregnant women get fat." "She's NOT fat, and if you keep saying that, she could stop eating. STOP saying it. Get rid of the canned or processed food and the pickles." I dropped over 30 pounds right after birth. I had gained 40 pounds, so the doctor estimated I had actually gained 10, minus the baby etc., that is right on target... IF the edema had been better controlled.

11:58PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

great info! thanks!

4:46PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011


8:28PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011


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

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