Eating After 6pm: 9 Foods to Avoid for Better Health and Sleep
In many cultures, eating after 6pm is a common practice. However, it is essential to understand that not all foods are suitable for the evening meal. In this article, we will explore nine foods that should be avoided after 6pm if you want to maintain good health and an enviable figure. From fatty meat to ice cream, we will find out which foods to steer clear of in the evening hours and explore healthier alternatives.
The time we eat can significantly influence our well-being. In countries like Denmark, Norway, and Finland, dinner is typically served at 5pm or 6pm. In contrast, places like Spain, Greece, and Southern Italy have a tradition of extending dinner beyond 10pm. According to experts, Nordic countries could have the advantage in terms of health and weight management by avoiding eating too late.
Rose Ferguson, a nutritionist and author on functional medicine, highlights that the body digests food at different rates. However, decreased physical activity in the evening affects the body’s ability to burn calories effectively. Additionally, eating late in the evening can disrupt circadian rhythms, impacting metabolic processes and sleep. Therefore, finishing your last meal early can aid in weight management, sleep quality, and longevity.
Here are the nine foods to avoid after 6pm:
1. Fat and Mature Cheeses: Gorgonzola, taleggio, mascarpone, brie, and camembert, while delicious, are hard on the digestive system due to their high saturated fat content. Opt for fresh, low-fat cheeses like ricotta, cottage cheese, or stracchino instead.
2. Fatty Meats: If you love a juicy steak or burger, think again. Fatty meats are challenging to digest and can cause discomfort and insomnia. Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey, legumes, or eggs.
3. Fried Foods: Avoid fried foods as they can stay in your stomach and cause unpleasant digestive disorders like reflux. Opt for lighter cooking methods like baking or steaming and ditch the french fries.
4. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can cause indigestion and raise your body temperature, making it difficult to fall asleep. Replace pepper and chili with aromatic herbs such as parsley, sage, oregano, rosemary, and basil.
5. Cabbages and Verze: While rich in beneficial nutrients, cabbages and cabbage take a long time to digest, up to 5 hours. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower follow the same trend and can cause bloating. Consume them during the day, not in the evening.
6. Fish in Oil: Fatty fish like salmon and herring are more difficult to digest than white fish. If they are in oil, the task of the digestive system becomes even more challenging. Avoid them in the evening and opt for white fish fillets like cod or hake.
7. Ice Creams and Desserts: Ice creams are high in sugar and calories, often indulged in during festive occasions. The sugars can cause blood sugar spikes. Choose sugar-free sorbets or, even better, fresh seasonal fruit.
8. Chocolate: For chocolate lovers, there’s bad news. Chocolate contains stimulants that can disturb sleep. Milk chocolate is also high in fat and can strain the liver. Replace it with sugar-free dark chocolate.
9. Salad: Although considered healthy, salad is made up of raw vegetables that can be difficult to digest in the evening. This can lead to fermentation in the stomach, causing bloating and sleep disturbances. Save salads for lunchtime.
In conclusion, eating after 6pm can have a significant impact on your sleep, metabolism, and overall health. Avoiding heavy and hard-to-digest foods can help maintain good physical shape and enjoy more peaceful nights. Choosing light and nutritious alternatives can make a difference in your overall well-being.