25 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks For When You\u2019re Trying To Stick To A Diet
Face it: You’ve been there too, taking a 10 p.m. trip to the fridge because you’re just so dang hungry, despite fueling your body with whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables all day long. You find yourself opening up every cupboard because your only concern at that time is making your belly happy so you can get back to sleep.
Look, it’s hard to make healthy eating choices all the time, especially at night. But here’s the thing: If you’re trying to lose weight, bedtime snacking is not exactly the healthiest move. For example, a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition actually found that people who eat before bed tend to have higher amounts of body fat.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to bed hungry. Phew! You can totally promote healthy eating choices even when you aren’t thinking about them by stocking your pantry and fridge with nutritious bedtime snacks that can actually promote sleep and keep your weight-loss goals on track.
Need some help getting started? Here are 25 healthy late-night snack ideas that won’t derail your healthy-eating efforts. They’ll give you extra fuel for the next morning, and make your midnight kitchen trip so worth it.
1. Beef biltong
Think of biltong as healthier jerky. It’s basically really thin cuts of steak that have been air-dried and seasoned into a snack that’s tasty and full of protein. These biltong packs come in fun flavors like teriyaki, zesty garlic, and mesquite bbq.
Per serving (original flavor): 90 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 430 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 16 g protein.
2. Low-sugar granola
Not only does this snack from Gr8nola look cool, but it’s also healthy and tasty. It’s a blend of whole-grain oats, toasted coconut, crunchy chia seeds, and activated charcoal powder, which gives it that rich, black color. The blend is made with coconut oil, which packs MCTs (healthy fats), and only has 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Per serving: 130 calories, 6 g fat ( 3.5 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 70 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.
3. Dried fruit
If you’re a fan of dried fruit, try kicking up the flavor with these spiced varieties from Naughty Fruit. This dried medley includes pieces of fruit likes strawberries, pears, and pineapples coated in lemon juice, chili pepper, and sea salt. Yum, just yum.
Per serving: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.
4. Savory snack bar
These bars can serve as a snack or as a light meal, and they aren’t the snack bars you’re used to. Slow Up bars were developed by a chef and inspired by restaurant dishes, hence the unique, savory flavors, like poblano black bean, red pepper pesto, and coconut curry.
Per serving (poblano black bean bar): 250 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 340 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 11 g protein.
5. Protein shake
Form protein is plant-based, made from organic pea, brown rice, and hemp proteins. It also includes good-for-you ingredients like flaxseed and maca. Whipping up a shake is a great idea if you’re still hungry from working out earlier. The protein will help repair and grow your muscles as you sleep. Plus, it’s a delicious and low-sugar way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Per serving (vanilla/toffee): 153 calories, 4.9 g fat (0.9 g saturated), 3.7 g carbs, 0.9 g sugar, 1600 mg sodium, 7.1 g fiber, 20 g protein.
6. Vegan snack bar
IQBars are filled with brain-health-boosting nutrients and six to eight grams of prebiotic fiber that can help support the gut microbiome. There’s also no shortage of flavors: wild blueberry, matcha chai, and almond butter chip are just a few.
Per serving (almond butter chip): 150 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 210 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 12 g protein.
7. An apple with peanut butter
Slice up an apple and dip it into one tablespoon of natural peanut butter. The fiber in the apple and the healthy fat in the peanut butter is a combo that will tide you over until wake-up time, says Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.
Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 55 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
8. A vegan yogurt cup
When you’re craving dessert late at night, opt for a single-serve sweet treat like fruity yogurt. This vegan option is still high in protein (the base is made from coconut milk and pea protein), low in sugar, and high in heathy fats that will fill you up.
Per serving: 180 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.
9. A peach with nonfat cottage cheese
Jessica Crandall, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says this duo is chock full of filling protein and fiber with the added benefits of calcium and vitamin C. Buy single-serve (four-ounce) cups of cottage cheese to make your healthy late night snack prep super simple.
Per serving: 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 23 g sugar, 820 mg sodium, 2.2 g fiber, 25 g protein.
10. Wasabi almonds
Almonds are high in protein and fiber as well as selenium and magnesium, says Crandall. This is good news for nut lovers, because while the protein and fiber fills you up, the magnesium may help you fall asleep. Choose a bold flavor like wasabi—it really kicks your snack up a notch.
Per serving: 170 calories, 15 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.
11. Dried Montmorency tart cherries
Tart cherries supply melatonin, which Gorin says helps regulate your internal clock and may be able to increase overall sleep efficiency. She likes to snack on a quarter cup before bedtime.
Per serving: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
12. Whole-grain toast with a scoop of guacamole
Toast a slice of whole-grain bread and top it with two tablespoons of guacamole for healthy fat. Gorin recommends Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. It comes in at 60 calories a slice and provides satiating protein and fiber.
Per serving: 105 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 15 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 185 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
13. Black olives
When you want to feel full for a very small amount of calories, Gorin suggests reaching for a Pearls Olives to Go! snack cup. They’re perfectly portioned, providing a fueling snack with healthy fats for just about 30 calories.
Per serving: 30 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 300 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.
14. Banana with a handful of sunflower seeds
Gorin loves pairing a high-fiber banana with two tablespoons of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The duo offers filling healthy fats as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body create melatonin.
Per serving: 150 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein.
15. Baby carrots
Gorin recommends a dozen baby carrots for those nights when you want the crunch factor of a bag of potato chips without the added calories. They’re low in cals but high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up better than chips while satisfying your urge to chew on something.
Per serving: 40 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 95 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.
16. Macadamia nuts
These flavorful macadamia nuts will fill you up with healthy fats and satisfy your savory snack craving in a major way with their bold BBQ seasoning.
Per serving: 190 calories, 20 g fat (3 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
17. Wheat crackers with low-sodium turkey breast
The protein in the lunch meat will keep you full until your alarm clock goes off, and the whole grains in the wheat crackers are heart-healthy, says Crandall.
Per serving: 178 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 675 mg sodium, 1.8 g fiber, 11 g protein.
18. Cooked edamame
They may not look like much, but edamame beans are high in protein and fiber (a.k.a. filling AF), Crandall says. She recommends seasoning them with garlic and red pepper flakes after cooking.
Per serving: 200 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 16 g protein.
19. Veggies and dip
Grab a container of veggie-packed dip (you would never know this creamy cauliflower based buffalo dip was vegan!), and use a half cup of grape tomatoes as dippers—Gorin says tomatoes offer melatonin to help you sleep.
Per serving: 40 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 210 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
20. Air-popped popcorn
Steer clear of bags of microwave popcorn—they’re loaded with unnecessary ingredients. Instead, Crandall suggests air-popping your own kernels and sprinkling two cups of popcorn with nutritional yeast or cinnamon for a high-fiber, high-volume healthy late-night snack.
Per serving: 62 calories, 1 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 2.4 g fiber, 2 g protein.
21. A pear with cheese
You really can’t go wrong with a fruit and dairy pairing. Crandall says that cheese is high in calcium and the pear provides filling fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C. A strong cheese, like stilton or goat, is a nice compliment to the subtle flavor of pears.
Per serving: 190 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 181 mg sodium, 5.5 g fiber, 7 g protein.
22. Sweet potato toast
These pre-cooked sweet potato slices provide a blank canvas for whatever you’re craving: Roast and top with peanut butter and bananas for a sweet treat or avocado, tomato and pesto for a savory vibe.
Per serving: 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein.
23. A banana oatmeal cookie
For a delicious treat with health benefits, Crandall says to mix half a banana with rolled oats and a tablespoon of cacao nibs, form into two small mounds, flatten a bit on a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
This snack takes a little more preparation, but the cookies are packed with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, and you could even have another for breakfast in the morning.
Per serving: 152 calories, 3 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber, 2 g protein.
24. Hard-boiled eggs with Everything Bagel seasoning
Hardboiled eggs boast a lot of protein for not a lot of calories, so you can slice up two eggs before bedtime for a filling snack. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s delicious Everything Bagel seasoning to jazz up the taste, suggests Gorin.
Per serving: 145 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 140 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 13 g protein.
25. Nonfat Greek yogurt with frozen berries
You know that Greek yogurt is loaded with protein; serving it with frozen berries makes it feel especially like a treat. Crandall says the berry blend is high in antioxidant power and vitamin C.
Per serving: 135 calories, 0 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 72 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber, 12 g protein.
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