According to a research study (click here) conducted on eleven healthy young woman from Japan, a nighttime snack (192 calories snack at 11pm) increased LDL (the 'bad') and total cholesterol levels and reduced total body fat oxidation (fat utilized for energy).
For those looking to control cholesterol levels for heart health, skipping that nighttime snack may be worth considering. In addition, for those looking for help with body fat reduction, skipping the late night snack may help as fat used for fuel was reduced with the late night snack.
Drawbacks from the study? Short duration (13 days) and only 11 participants. In addition, it would have been useful to test the nighttime snack at multiple time intervals (8, 9, 10pm) as well for those who snack at different times.
Now stopping late night eating is a challenge for some, and making this change is easier said than done. First tip? If possible, reduce or remove the high sugar and high salt snacks from the house to reduce temptation at night (when willpower is the lowest). Tip two? Brush and floss within 5-10 minutes after dinner. Tip three? Avoid the kitchen after dinner. Tip four? Put leftovers away immediately after dinner.
Yours in great health!
Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist