Can You Eat Whole Grain Cereal at Night?

It's common to want a snack in the evening hours -- you've finished dinner but breakfast is still a full night's sleep away. If you find your tummy rumbling at night, avoid the urge to snack on unhealthy desserts or fatty treats. Whole-grain cereal is a nutritious and satiating snack to eat at night; however, some people may find it disrupts their sleep.

Cereal isn't just for breakfast -- it makes a nutritious evening snack, too. (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images)

Benefits of Whole Grains

Whole-grain cereal is an excellent source of fiber, with many brands containing 4 to 7 grams per serving. Fiber helps fill you up so you're less likely to reach for more sugary snacks in the evening hours. This is a big benefit for weight management. Whole-grain cereals are often a rich source of many essential nutrients including B vitamins. If your diet is lacking in vitamins and minerals, a bowl of whole-grain cereal in the evening can help fill the gaps.

Keep Track of Calories

It's OK to have a healthy snack in the evening; however, make sure that an evening snack doesn't cause you to exceed your calorie needs for the day, which could lead to weight gain. Stick to a single serving and use nonfat milk to keep your waistline in check. Whole grains take longer to digest than refined grains, which means your body has to work harder. If this makes it difficult for you to fall asleep, plan accordingly so you leave enough time to digest your snack before you hit the sack.

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