Looking for a Late-Night Snack? Here’s What To Pick

Pass on the chips, ice cream and cold pizza: Here’s the best late-night snack.

By: Amanda Mushro
A young dieting woman standing in front of the refrigerator, contemplating and thinking about what to eat for hunger. Making choices and decision for healthy lifestyle

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A young dieting woman standing in front of the refrigerator, contemplating and thinking about what to eat for hunger. Making choices and decision for healthy lifestyle

Photo by: YinYang

YinYang

Dinner was hours ago, you just finished binge-watching 90 Day Fiance, and now you need a late-night snack before bed. So, what should you grab? Leftovers? A handful of chips? Maybe some fruit? Go ahead and pass on all of those options and reach for what some nutritionist are calling the best pre-sleep snack: cottage cheese.

While cottage cheese is probably not the bedtime snack you were craving, it is the ideal snack before bed because it has a positive effect on your metabolism, helps promote muscle recovery and doesn’t result in any body fat gains, a study by Florida State University (FSU) found.

According to the researchers, this study differs from previous late-night snack studies because it is the first to have participants consume a whole food before bed instead of a dietary supplement like a protein shake.

"Until now, we presumed that whole foods would act similarly to the data on supplemental protein, but we had no real evidence," said Michael Ormsbee, Associate Professor of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at FSU and lead researcher on the study. "This is important because it adds to the body of literature that indicates that whole foods work just as well as protein supplementation, and it gives people options for pre-sleep nutrition that go beyond powders and shaker bottles."

Not a big fan of cottage cheese? The researchers say any food with 30 grams of protein about a half hour before you head off to dreamland will work just as well.

The team plans on continuing this study and finding more foods that promote muscle regeneration and overall improved health before bed.

So, tonight when you head to the fridge, go ahead and chow down on your cottage cheese snack without any guilt.

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