It's almost bedtime, but you're feeling hunger pangs. You are trying to eat a healthy diet, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should just go to bed hungry. A healthy snack before bed may actually help you sleep better since you won't be lying awake with a grumbling stomach. Just choose low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods to keep your healthy eating habits on track and drift off to sleep happily.
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If you crave something sweet before bed, forget the candy and cookies. Instead, reach for something naturally sweet, low in calories and fat and packed with vitamins and minerals -- fresh fruit. A cup of berries, for example, contains fewer than 100 calories. These foods are also high in fiber, so they will help to fill you up and keep you satisfied until morning.
When that bag of potato chips is calling your name, reach for something that gives you the crunch but with fewer calories, fat and sodium. Low-fat, air-popped popcorn is a whole-grain option that will satisfy your snacking needs. A 3-cup serving of popcorn contains about 100 calories and provides 3 grams of filling fiber. To season your popcorn, use garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon or Italian seasoning instead of salt and butter.
If you crave something creamy in the evening, keep low-fat yogurt on hand. Yogurt is low in calories -- a 6-ounce container of the fat-free variety contains about 100 calories. Yogurt is a good source of muscle-building protein and bone-building calcium. It is also slightly sweet and comes in many decadent flavors to satisfy your cravings.
If dinner left you feeling starving a few hours later, have a filling snack. A bowl of warm oatmeal can meet that need. Oatmeal is a whole-grain food and an excellent source of fiber, with 4 grams per 1/2 cup uncooked. A serving of oatmeal adds only 150 calories and is low in fat and sugar. Season your oats with cinnamon and a splash of milk.