11 Healthier Snacks to Satisfy Your Late Night Hunger Pangs

by Peh Yi Wen
FOOD  |  April 05, 2019
  • Too hungry to fall asleep? Turn to these dietitian-approved snacks.
    1 / 12 Too hungry to fall asleep? Turn to these dietitian-approved snacks.

    You’re hungry so close to bedtime and you find yourself raiding the pantry and fridge for something to eat – anything. A pack of chips, Oreos or the dangerously addictive cup noodles. It’s a scenario we’re all familiar with, despite knowing the health risks posed when we give in to supper temptations.

    But what about nights when that rumbling tummy affects your ability to sleep? We ask Jaclyn Reutens, dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants, for her recommendations on the healthiest snacks to turn to when your late night hunger pang strikes.

    Besides filling you up well and solving your ‘hanger’ issues, these snacks contain ingredients and nutrients that will help you drift off to dreamland in a jiffy. Plus, they can all be found easily at local supermarkets. Score!

    (Also read: 6 Worst Foods To Eat Before Bedtime)

    Calorie data sourced from Health Promotion Board, Singapore and USDA.

    Photo: 123rf.com 

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  • Hard-boiled egg
    2 / 12 Hard-boiled egg

    Eggs provide a sense of fullness with a small number of calories. It contains tryptophan, which is the building block of serotonin to produce the sleep hormone.

    Per serving (55g): 73 calories, 0.2g carbs, 5.3g fat, 0.2g sugar, 59.5mg sodium, 6.4g protein

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • Banana
    3 / 12 Banana

    Bananas are a filling snack with a good combination of carbohydrates and vitamin B6, which have a calming effect on the body.

    Per serving (medium-sized banana, 118g): 105 calories, 27g carbs, 0.4g fat, 14.4g sugar, 1mg sodium, 3.1g fibre, 1.3g protein

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • 3-in-1 wholegrain cereal
    4 / 12 3-in-1 wholegrain cereal

    This instant cereal drink is fuss-free and easy to digest. It also contains carbs and magnesium that will help you sleep better.

    (Also read: 5 Foods That Can Sabotage Your Sleep)

    Try: Nestle Nestum 3 in 1 Instant Cereal Milk Drink – Original

    Per serving (28g): 112 calories, 20.8g carbs, 1.9g fat, 13g sugar, 104mg sodium, 0.9g fibre, 2.5g protein

    Photo: Fairprice

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  • Wholewheat biscuits with light cream cheese
    5 / 12 Wholewheat biscuits with light cream cheese

    This filling yet low-in-calories snack gives you some extra protein and fibre. Cottage cheese is also a good source of vitamin B6 to help regulate your sleep cycle.

    Try: 3 Weetameal biscuits with 2 tablespoons of light cream cheese spread (30g)

    Per serving: 123 calories, 11.8g carbs, 6.6g fat, 3.8g sugar, 195.2mg sodium, 0.9g fibre, 3.5g protein

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • Multigrain instant savoury oat porridge
    6 / 12 Multigrain instant savoury oat porridge

    Oat porridge is great for those who prefer a savoury option. Besides being low in calories, this yummy pick is also a great source of soluble fibre.

    Try: Captain Oats Eazy-Go Instant Oat Porridge – Chicken Mushroom (32g)

    Per serving: 123 calories, 21.7g carbs, 2.8g fat, 2.9g sugar, 236mg sodium, 1.9g fibre, 3.8g protein

    Photo: Fairprice

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  • Soy pudding
    7 / 12 Soy pudding

    Soy pudding is a light, high-protein and vegan-friendly snack that is easy to digest, so you don’t have to worry about staying up even later. Plus, it gives women your dose of phytoestrogens, which help to balance hormone levels when estrogen levels are low.

    Try: Unicurd Soy Pudding – Natural

    Per serving (180g): 140 calories, 22.9g carbs, 2.7g fat, 21.6g sugar, 1.8g sodium, 0.4g fibre, 5.9g protein

    (Also read: 10 Healthy Low-Calorie Snacks You Can Get From The Supermarket)

    Photo: Fairprice

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  • Walnuts
    8 / 12 Walnuts

    A great source of protein and fibre with healthy fats to curb those hunger pangs, walnuts also contains magnesium and tryptophan that aid in boosting serotonin levels to induce sleep.

    (Also read: 4 Benefits of Eating Walnuts Every Day)

    Try: Nature’s Wonders Baked Nuts – USA Walnuts

    Per serving (30g, 1/4 cup): 199 calories, 6.6g carbs, 16.8g fat, 0.9g sugar, 1.7mg sodium, 1.9g fibre, 5.3g protein

    Photo: Fairprice

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  • Low-fat yogurt with honey
    9 / 12 Low-fat yogurt with honey

    Orexin is a neuropeptide that keeps you awake and alert. The sugar in honey helps to dull that effect. Just remember to keep it to one tablespoon to avoid consuming excess calories. Yogurt contains a good amount of calcium and protein that can be readily absorbed into the body.

    Try: Marigold Low Fat Cup Yoghurt – Strawberry (125g, 1 cup) with 1 tablespoon of honey

    Per serving: 190 calories, 37.8g carbs, 2.3g fat, 17.3g sugar, 69mg sodium, 0.5g fibre, 6g protein

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • Mini oat red bean buns
    10 / 12 Mini oat red bean buns

    In place of sinful salted egg custard buns from late night dim sum runs, these guilt-free buns contain soluble fibre and protein with a hint of sweetness to satisfy the hunger and fill you up well.

    Try: FairPrice Frozen Mini Oat Buns – Red Bean

    Per serving (2 pieces): 171 calories, 30.9g carbs, 3.3g fat, 7.9g sugar, 36.7mg sodium, 1.5g fibre, 4.6g protein

    Photo: Fairprice

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  • Rice crackers and hummus
    11 / 12 Rice crackers and hummus

    Hummus made from chickpeas is a great source of Vitamin B6, which helps to make serotonin. The best part about this vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free snack? No preparation time required.

    Try: Fantastic Original Flavour Rice Crackers (25g) and 2 tablespoons of hummus

    Per serving: 173 calories, 58.1g carbs, 6.25 fat, 1g sugar, 229mg sodium, 1.6g fibre, 4g protein

    (Also read: 10 Yummy Foods That You Are Allowed To Eat Before Bed)

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  • Wholegrain cereal with low fat milk
    12 / 12 Wholegrain cereal with low fat milk

    When it comes to cereals, steer clear of the sugary kind to avoid a sugar-high so late into the night. Wholegrain cereal with milk is a low glycaemic index snack that is high in calcium and protein. Calcium helps to regulate processes to stimulate serotonin and melatonin production to help to snooze.

    Try: Special K Cereal (30g) with HL milk (150ml)

    Per serving: 185 calories, 28.3g carbs, 1.4g fat, 11.2g sugar, 231mg sodium, 2g fibre, 13.4g protein

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