Should I eat popcorn at night?

  • Author: Alex Cooper
  • Published: November 28, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Should I Eat Popcorn at Night?

Yes, you can eat popcorn at night but you need to be aware of a few things…

The crunchy, salty air-filled snacks are often a source of comfort while watching television or your favorite film. However, according to nutrition experts, eating popcorn late at night could cause you to gain weight and experience sleep problems.

Key points at a glance

  • You can eat popcorn at night
  • If you are looking to lose weight then you shouldn’t eat before bed
  • You may want to consider eating other foods before bed as a healthier option
  • No matter what you eat, always brush your teeth before you sleep
  • Choose healthy popcorn as your nighttime snack

Should I Eat Popcorn Before Bed?

Is eating popcorn at night a good idea? Ryan Andrews, the founder of Pure Nutrition, believes that it is indeed.

He told NutraIngredients-USA: “For a long time, we have believed that waking up with an empty stomach was paramount for weight loss and health benefits.”  But that could be wrong.

According to Ryan, those who skip breakfast and wait until lunch to eat may be putting themselves at an increased risk for diabetes and obesity.

“Eating a small snack before bed will help promote better sleep quality,” he said.  And you might even enjoy a lower body weight too!

Is popcorn good for weight loss at night? While eating popcorn at night could potentially help you lose some pounds, it can also be bad for your health.

Is Popcorn Healthy?

When you think about eating popcorn before bed, it’s easy to assume that the snack is a much healthier option compared to fast food or salty chips.  But unfortunately, this isn’t always true.

Many types of microwave popcorn are loaded with calories and fat that can make you gain weight. A small portion of popcorn can contain nearly 500 calories, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). And just one serving contains 77% of the recommended daily value for saturated fat.

It’s important to remember that if you are looking to lose or maintain your body weight then you shouldn’t be eating microwave popcorn at all.  The simple, cheap snack is often loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives that can make you gain weight over time.

Instead of eating microwaveable popcorn before bedtime, it’s much better to eat an apple or a banana.  

What is the Best Thing to Eat Before Bed?

Dr. Oz recommends that people who want to sleep better should eat a small snack, along with dinner, especially if you work the late shift.

The expert says: “What you want is protein and fat about two hours before bed.”

He suggests choosing healthy snacks such as a handful of almonds, or slices of cheese and cucumbers.

Simple and natural foods are always the best options, especially at bedtime. The last thing you want to do is load your body up with artificial chemicals that can cause health problems over time.

Other good foods to eat before bed include:

  • apple
  • banana
  • cheese and cucumbers
  • almonds
  • yogurt or cottage cheese
  • whole grain cereal (for a healthy carb)

You’ll want to avoid eating large amounts of fruit before bed as this could cause an insulin spike that may disrupt your sleep.

Fruit is a healthy snack to have before bed

The best foods to avoid at night include:

– caffeinated beverages, such as sodas, coffee and tea. These can all contribute to sleeplessness. 

– spicy and sugary snacks will keep you up and prevent deep sleep.   

– processed foods like chips and candy bars are filled with sugars, fats, and preservatives.

– dried fruits contain too much sugar and the high water content can cause dehydration.

How to Eat Popcorn at Night?

If you’re going to eat popcorn at night anyway, here is some advice from experts:

  • It’s best to keep the portion small.  
  • Try to opt for popcorn with a low-fat content and avoid added sugars.
  • Avoid high-calorie toppings that could lead to weight gain.
  • Instead, try some herbs or spices instead!

Your best bet is to go for popcorn that you can cook at home.  Store-bought packets are always loaded with extra fats and sugars designed to make the fake/processed food taste better, but these additional ingredients will actually get in the way of your sleep over time!

Is it Bad to Eat Popcorn Every Night?

So, is eating popcorn before bed every night bad for you?  Experts say that if you want to lose weight, then yes.

Are there Any Health Benefits of Popcorn Before Bed?

Plain popcorn before bed can supply adequate carbohydrates to keep hunger signals at bay, allowing you to potentially sleep longer.

However, one study has found a link between frequent snacking and being obese. Those who eat snacks at least three times per day are 81% more likely to have a higher BMI than those who do not snack.

What is BMI?  It stands for Body Mass Index; it’s a number that works out how much body fat you have.  This is one way to work out whether you are at a healthy weight or if you need to lose some weight!

benefits of popcorn before bed
Is popcorn a good late night snack?

Is Popcorn Fattening at Night?

The research also found that there was no link between snacking and being overweight in children but a strong link between snacking and being overweight in adults.

Another study found that people who eat popcorn at night are more likely to gain weight over time. This was due to the high sodium content of microwavable popcorn and unhealthy fats that were added for flavoring purposes.

You can of course, healthy toppings and flavors by flavoring your own popcorn.

The study also identified a link between snacking and being overweight. So, the more you snack during the day, the more likely you are to be overweight over time.

So, what is one serving size of popcorn?  One serving is equivalent to one cup (8 fl oz) which contains about 50 grams or 1.6 ounces of popcorn kernels that have been popped.

Should I Eat if I’m Hungry at Night?

If you are hungry at night, you should eat something right away.  You need to stop the hunger pangs as soon as possible to prevent overeating later on!

Research has found that people who eat salty foods at night are more likely to overeat. This is one reason why you should think twice about adding extra salt on your popcorn, or eating those cheesy snacks before bed!

Extra salt can cause dehydration, weight gain and high blood pressure. 

If you do snack at night, then choose something that is healthy, filling and not salty.

In Summary

Eating popcorn before bed is not necessarily a bad idea. The issue with eating high-calorie snacks, like chips and candy bars at night, stems from the way that these foods are processed by your body overnight.

Sugars in dried fruits can cause dehydration and lead to sleeplessness as well. Keep the portion sizes small and opt for healthier varieties of popcorn if you want to snack on something salty or sweet before sleep!

Check out our article about unhealthy popcorn next.

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