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Why Snacking at Night Is Dangerous

By Lana Bandoim

The kitchen is clean, the kids are asleep, and the stack of paperwork is finished. However, instead of going to bed and feeling accomplished, hunger pangs are making it difficult to think about sleep. You reach for a bag of chips or search for leftovers in the fridge. Snacking at night can turn into a dangerous habit. Consider the following research before grabbing a cookie late in the evening.  

Weight Problems

One of the biggest problems with snacking at night is weight gain. The extra calories that are consumed before going to bed can quickly turn into extra pounds. In addition, people are less active at night, so they are less likely to burn more calories.

New Research on Snacking

A recent study on snacking at night found that it can be dangerous. In addition to gaining weight, the people who participated in the study also suffered from hormonal and metabolic problems. They had higher insulin and glucose levels. In addition, they had higher cholesterol and triglycerides, so their risk of heart disease and diabetes increased.  

Snacking at night also affects how the body burns fat. The body is more likely to burn carbohydrates later at night than fat, so it is harder to lose weight.

Importance of Eating Earlier

The study examined the impact of eating earlier. Researchers found that the levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone linked to appetite, were higher during the day for people who ate earlier. This means that these study participants were less likely to overeat at night since their appetites peaked in the morning or afternoon.   

Problems With Healthy Snacks

Previous studies looked at the benefits of eating healthy snacks at night such as fruit or yogurt. They recommended eating less than 100 calories and making sure that the snack was mostly protein. However, the new study shows that even healthy snacks can be dangerous at night. They can still make people gain weight.

How to Avoid Snacking at Night

The easiest way to avoid snacking at night is to eat enough during the day. It is important to have balanced meals that have carbohydrates, protein and fat. In addition, snacking often happens because of boredom, so try to stay busy and avoid the kitchen.

Consider the research on snacking before giving in to the craving for cake or cookies at night. Not only will the snack affect your weight, it will also have an impact on metabolism and hormones.  

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wilmington, N.C.

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