Foods to avoid before bed

Foods to avoid before bedIf you are about to make your way ‘up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire’, but are considering a late-night kitchen pit stop along the way, think twice about what your midnight snack will be. 

Snacking late at night or indulging in a large meal not long before bed can lead to weight gain, digestive issues and insomnia. So, if you want to avoid all of the above but are feeling peckish, make sure you stay in the safe zone by avoiding the following foods:


Legend has it that chowing down on a helping of cheese before bed will result in nightmares, but how much truth really is there in this old wives tale? Well actually you may be surprised to find that it isn’t that far from reality. Peptides that are present in milk have opioid characteristics that can have hallucinogenic effects on the brain, leading to an inability to sleep.

Red meat

Whilst red meat delivers protein, amino acids and iron to the body, it is best to avoid eating it late at night because it can take several hours for the digestive system to break it down, potentially causing discomfort and cramping whilst you are trying to sleep.


Chocolate might sound like the perfect midnight snack but the high sugar, fat and stimulant content tend to result in disrupted sleep.


A nice bowl of warm and comforting porridge may seem like just the ticket for a healthy late night snack, but bear in mind that oats are packed with soluble fibre that may linger in the colon for a long time resulting in gas. The best time to have porridge is for breakfast. The carbohydrates will provide energy and will be worked off during the day instead of being converted into fat as they would do during the night.

If you are a serial late night snacker who just can’t seem to break the habit, you may benefit from consulting a professional nutritionist who will help you to find ways to incorporate healthy and nutritious foods and eating patterns into your daily routine. Visit our Healthy Eating fact-sheet for more information.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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