We frequently want to eat whenever we feel like it, and if that is not possible, we want to eat whatever is available without taking the time of day into account.
You went into your kitchen after a long day at work to prepare yourself a bowl of semo with the proper egusi soup and various cuts of diverse beef, or eba and ogbono soup with different kinds of stock fish, and meats. Wait! Let’s think about some things before you sit down to eat that dinner.
Food may be highly nourishing and delightful, and it is necessary for human survival. The impact of food on one’s health, disposition, strength, and mood is significant. It’s understandable why Virginia Woolf said that if one hasn’t had a good meal, “one cannot think well, love well, or sleep well.”
As beneficial and nourishing as food is to a person’s taste buds, body, and health, depending on the gender, it is still vital to know what foods to consume and avoid at different times of the day.
You truly “become what you eat,” as the cliché goes. Along with other variables, the type of food you consume at a specific time of day may affect how it affects your health, size, weight, and functionality.
Therefore, it’s crucial to develop the habit of eating the correct things at the proper times. According to Horace, “Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s necessary to set habits that are straightforward, practical, and ultimately livable.”
Eating after midnight has long been linked to weight gain, bloating, acid reflux, and adverse effects on controlling blood sugar and blood pressure. In order to prevent eating late at night and the potential health problems that may result, it is crucial to develop a schedule.
9 Foods to Avoid Eating at Night
1) Pounded yam
Pounded yam is the first item on my list of foods to stay away from at night. One of the best staple cuisines in Nigeria is pounded yam. The Igbo, Ekiti, Ondo, Ijesha, Ebira, Tiv, and Edo people all eat this local meal. It is typically made by first boiling the yam and then grinding it in a mortar and pestle. It is frequently consumed alongside a number of soups, including egusi soup, gbegiri and ewedu soup, vegetable soup, okra soup, and ofe nsala and ogbona soup. It is a very nutrient-dense diet since it includes a wide range of vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, calcium, fiber, manganese, copper, and many other components. It is delectable and frequently referred to as the supreme dish.
The majority of people don’t have much time during the day to prepare and consume this kind of cuisine. Then, everything is set for dinner so that they would have more time to prepare and enjoy every mouthful of the delectable and nourishing taste of the dish.
Even though it has a wonderful and nutritious taste, it is not advisable to consume this late at night. This is due to its weight and the length of time it takes to digest. You feel the weight of pounded yam in your stomach, especially if you eat it right before night.
It’s recommended to consume pounded yam in the morning, late afternoon, or early evening. You shouldn’t consume it after dark. We are expected to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a poor,” claims American dietitian and author Adele Davis.
casserole made with meat, tomatoes, and foufou in Ghanaian cuisine
Another common meal that you shouldn’t consume at night is akpu. It is a fermented dough made of plantain flour and thick, sticky cassava tubers. It is consumed all over Nigeria and frequently served with a variety of regional soups, including egusi soup, bitter leaf soup, groundnut soup, utazi soup, ogbona soup, and afang soup.
It contains a lot of potassium, iron, fiber, fat, and calcium, as well as a lot of carbohydrates. Each meal has roughly 267 calories. Except for at night, it can be consumed at any time of the day and is very healthy.
As one of the heavier foods with a high carbohydrate content that quickly breaks down into glucose and gives an immediate source of energy, akpu/fufu is best avoided at night. If this glucose is not utilized, it transforms into excess glucose, which is either converted into fatty acids and stored as fat throughout the body or stored as glycogen in the liver. Long-term effects could result in a number of illnesses, including type 2 diabetes and fatty liver.
Avoid eating Akpu/fufu at night to prevent taxing your digestive system and having the carbs you consume turn into fat. It is advisable to consume this food in moderation and during the day, while the body is still active.
Eba is another dish that shouldn’t be consumed at night. Another staple cuisine consumed by primarily Yoruba and Igbo people is eba. It is prepared with garri, or dried, shredded cassava flour. White or yellow garri (garri combined with palm oil) can be spread into a bowl of hot water and thoroughly stirred with a spatula until it combines well into a fine dough.
Depending on the location and the person’s inclination, eba is typically served with a variety of traditional soups. It can be accompanied by ogbona soup, vegetable soup, egusi soup, bitter leaf soup, gbegiri and ewedu soup, edikang ikong soup, and soup with okra and bitter leaves.
Another hefty dish is eba, which has a gross calorie count of 381.5 kcal. This is more energy-dense than other cassava products like fufu, which has 180 calories, and lafun, which has 357.7. Due to its high calorie, high carbohydrate, and acidic content, eba is one of the meals you should avoid eating at night. Additionally, digestion takes longer. Particularly if taken right before night, this could make the body restless.
The optimal time to eat this item is in the morning, and only in moderate amounts.
Another meal to avoid eating at night is amala. A traditional dish eaten by Yoruba people is amala. It is manufactured from yam, cassava, or plantain that has been peeled, cleaned, and let to dry in the sun before being pounded into powder. Elubo is a common name for it.
There are three varieties of amala, including amala isu, which is made from dried yams.
Amala lafun: cassava-based amala;
Amala ogede: Plaintain-based amala.
Amala tastes amazing when served with gbegiri and ewedu soup with various cuts of meat. It may also be accompanied by other soups like vegetable, ogbona, or okra soup.
Amala is very nutrient-dense. It is abundant in dietary fiber, vitamins, and carbohydrates, all of which offer the body numerous health advantages. It is well known for promoting digestion, preventing constipation, and managing diabetes.
Even though Amala contains less high-carbohydrate content than Eba/Akpu, it is better to avoid eating it at night due to its high water content. It increases bathroom visits, which disturbs your sleep cycle. Early in the evening is when it can be enjoyed for the most fulfillment.
5) Fried food
Fried foods are another item on the list of foods to stay away from at night. Various items that have been fried are referred to as fried foods. This could include plantains, which are frequently used to make French fries, potatoes that have been peeled, sliced, and fried, or ground beans known as akara. Along with various fried meals including fish, chicken, turkey, and beef, pastries such puff puff, Samosa, minced pie, doughnuts, sausage rolls, egg rolls, and cakes are also included.
Fried meals have a much higher fat and calorie content than non-fried foods, according to Kayla McDowell. For instance, 100 grams of small baked potatoes have 93 calories and 0 grams of fat but 100 grams of french fries have 319 calories and 17 grams of fat.
When oil is heated to an extremely high temperature while cooking, unsaturated fats go through a process called hydrogenation that results in the formation of trans fats, which have been linked to an increased risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Due to the artificial trans fats they contain, fried meals take longer to break down. In general, you should avoid them, especially at night.
6) Carbonated drinks
Another item on the list of foods to avoid eating at night is carbonated beverages. Drinks that have dissolved carbon dioxide are referred to as carbonated drinks. Coca-cola, also known as Coke, as well as Fanta, Sprite, Seven up, Schwepp, Pepsi, Malt, Bigi cola, soda, and several more are among them. They have a lot of sugar, calories, and caffeine, which have no nutritious benefit or very little.
Although persons with low blood sugar might increase their sugar levels by drinking fizzy beverages.
However, if consumed in excess, these beverages can cause a number of health issues. Cavities, tooth decay, a higher body mass index, belly fat, high cholesterol, cancer, gout, and elevated blood sugar are a few of these factors, which may eventually cause diabetes and obesity.
When you add a bottle of fizzy beverage to a meal, you consume more sugar, calories, and energy overall. Warm milk would be a better option than that bottle of coke if you were to reach for it.
Carbonated beverages should not be consumed after midnight and should only be consumed in moderation during the day.
7) Caffeinated foods and drinks
Caffeinated foods and beverages should also be avoided at night. Over 60 different plants contain the natural chemical caffeine in their leaves and seeds. It is present in a variety of plant-based meals and beverages.
Additionally, caffeine can be produced and added to foods, medications, and beverages. “Synthetic supplementary forms of caffeine are also developed and added to foods,” claims Daisy Whitbread.
Caffeine is well known for activating the heart, muscles, central nervous system, and other areas of the body involved in blood pressure regulation.
Many producers include a certain amount of caffeine in their products because of its stimulating and addictive properties. Coffee, chocolates, chocolate cakes, energy drinks, green tea, black tea, sodas, and cola nuts are a few examples of foods and beverages with high caffeine content.
When ingested within six hours of going to bed, caffeinated foods and beverages may provide a short-term energy boost but may ultimately have a negative effect on the duration and quality of sleep. In order to prevent sleep deprivation and restlessness, it is advised to refrain from consuming caffeine-containing foods and beverages after midnight, with the exception of while attempting to stay awake.
8) Spicy food
A woman with stomach aches holds a spoon with chili peppers while consuming spicy cuisine to treat her acid reflux or heartburn.
Another group of foods to avoid eating at night is spicy cuisine. They are dishes that contain a lot of pepper. They typically taste hot and peppery on the palate. Spicy foods frequently make the eater sweat, which makes his or her nose run.
Spicy cuisine offers many health advantages, including the ability to increase metabolism for weight loss, widen arteries, lower blood pressure, reduce the danger of blood clots, and improve blood circulation. However, it has also been linked to heartburn and stomach issues. Indigestion, or heartburn, is a type of burning pain in the throat that is brought on by stomach acid or partially digested food.
Heartburn brought on by eating spicy food late at night can keep you up at night. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from consuming spicy food late at night or just before bed. It’s recommended to eat spicy dishes in the morning, late afternoon, or early evening.
To lessen the effects of its spice and heartburn, it is also best consumed with milk.
9) Water and food with high water content.
Foods to avoid eating at night include water and foods with a high water content, such as papaya, watermelon, and so forth.
Everyone is aware of the many health benefits of water. It is frequently recommended to drink a lot of water—at least 8 glasses per day.
Water aids in detoxification and rehydration of the body. In actuality, it promotes weight loss.
However, consuming a lot of water or foods high in water before bed could result in frequent bathroom visits, which would interfere with your nap. These foods include pap, watermelon, cucumbers, and others. To prevent having a full bladder in the middle of the night, you should avoid drinking water or consuming foods that are high in water content in the late evening.
Avoid eating foods that are heavy, take a long time to digest, include a lot of water, sugar, or caffeine, give you heartburn, or are high in calories at night. For the meal to thoroughly digest before going to bed, it is advisable to have dinner before 7 o’clock or at least 2-3 hours before bed.
Instead of choosing heavy foods, fried foods, spicy foods, carbonated and caffeinated foods, drinks, or foods with a high water and sugar content, it is preferable to choose whole wheat foods, oatmeal, milk, yoghurt, rice, fruits like bananas, berries, and passion fruit, as well as other healthy but light options, if you feel like snacking after dinner or ordering a late dinner.