Being on a keto diet won’t make you immune to late-night hunger. That’s why you should have these late-night keto snacks on hand when hunger strikes.
You probably know after-dinner eating isn’t exactly healthy. And you are right in thinking so. Studies show this habit can lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems if left unchecked 1, 2. That’s likely because our metabolism slows down after dusk as our bodies prepare for sleep.
But what when you really, really need that one small grub before you can finally hit the sack at 2 a.m.? Then there are a couple of late-night keto snack options that won’t ruin your metabolism or kick you out of ketosis.
Occasionally enjoying these morsels in moderation is perfectly fine. Heck, they may even help you sleep better if they contain the right nutrients and compounds.
With that said, you’re probably now wondering how a healthy after-midnight snack looks like.
What Makes a Good Late-Night Keto Snack?
A good late-night keto snack should be low in calories but nutrient-dense. According to a review article in Nutrients, eating evening meals of ~150 calories does not appear to be harmful 2. In fact, it may promote muscle growth and cardiovascular health. Nutrient-dense foods tend to be low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals.
Another thing to look for in your keto snacks is fiber and protein – two highly satiating nutrients. Some protein sources may even contain amino acids that are necessary for the synthesis of hormones/neurotransmitters necessary for sleep like serotonin and melatonin 3.
A keto late-night snack is also ideally something you can eat immediately or that requires minimal prep time. And, it goes without saying, your keto bedtime snack should also be as low in carbs as possible; you don’t want to raise your blood sugar levels when your body is in night fasting mode.
So, what is a good low carb snack before bed? Read on to find out.
9 Best Late-Night Keto Snacks
These 9 late-night keto snacks are healthy, nutritious, and low in calories. Many contain ingredients that can promote better sleep.
1. Avocado half
A half of an avocado can be enough to curb those late-night cravings. This staple keto veggie is creamy, fiber-rich, and provides a little bit of protein to boot 4. It also contains B vitamins, which are known to promote restful sleep 5. Enjoy it as it is, as guacamole, like avocado toast, or blended into a smoothie.
Nutrition: 160 calories | 14.7g fat | 1.8g net carbs | 2g protein.
2. Greek yogurt
Plain, whole milk Greek yogurt is richer in protein and fat than regular yogurt 6, 7. This is one reason it’s so popular on keto. It’s also a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium – minerals associated with better sleep 8.
Enjoy a 3.5oz serving alone or with a couple of berries and sugar-free syrup and you won’t go to bed hungry.
Nutrition: 97 calories | 5g fat | 3.9g net carbs | 9g protein.
3. Aged cheese
Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere are examples of aged cheeses you can and should enjoy before bedtime. Not only is this kind of cheese low in milk sugar but it’s high in calcium. One slice of cheddar, for example, will give you almost 200 mg of this sleep-promoting nutrient 9. Aged cheeses also have high concentrations of tryptophan – an amino acid that’s a precursor to melatonin, a sleep hormone 10.
Nutrition: 115 calories | 9.4g fat | 0.5g net carbs | 6.7g protein.
Most nuts are healthy and convenient keto snacks before bedtime. But almonds are special because they also contain phytomelatonin 11, which is melatonin of plant origin that may help promote sleep. Besides that, a 1oz serving of almonds has good amounts of protein and fiber to keep you full 12. Other ways to have almonds before bedtime is in the form of almond butter, almond crackers, or almond milk.
Nutrition: 164 calories | 14.2g fat | 2.5g net carbs | 6g protein.
5. Low-carb bread and butter
A trusty classic among low-carb late-night snacks, low-carb bread and a pat of butter can help you sleep better by increasing butyrate levels in your gut and your brain 13. Butter is naturally rich in this fatty acid, while keto bread often contains loads of fiber to support butyrate production in the gut. The nutrition below is for one pat of butter with one slice of Golden Wheat Keto Bread 14.
Nutrition: 110 calories | 9g fat | 0g net carbs | 6g protein.
6. Peanut butter and celery
Two tablespoons of peanut butter with a stick of celery provide lots of protein, fiber, and fat 15, 16. The calorie count of this low-carb bedtime snack is a little higher than with other ones on this list, but that can be a good thing if you’re really hungry.
The crunchiness of celery paired with the creaminess of peanut butter is also great when you’re hit with those middle-of-the-night cravings.
Nutrition: 191 calories | 16.4g fat | 5.6g net carbs | 7.2g protein.
7. Hard-boiled eggs
A source of quality protein, eggs can definitely curb midnight hunger. One hard-boiled egg has over 6g of this nutrient and is a source of the amino acid tryptophan we talked about earlier 17. Another benefit of course is that it’s practically a zero-carb food so you don’t have to worry about raising your glucose levels. Plus, you can make them in ten minutes tops.
Nutrition: 77 calories | 5.3g fat | 0.5g net carbs | 6.2g protein.
8. Coconut milk
Sugar-free coconut milk you see sold in cartons can also beat that keto late-night hunger. Its fat content is not only great for your diet but also highly satisfying. Not only that, the fat in coconut milk is mostly lauric acid, which studies show can help promote better sleep 8. Just around 3 fl oz of coconut milk is all you need to get 15g of its fat along with around 3g of protein 18. Drink up as is or make yourself a smoothie or maybe even hot cocoa with it.
Nutrition: 169 calories | 15.2g fat | 3.3g net carbs | 3.3g protein.
9. Dark chocolate
Sure, chocolate is a source of caffeine, but it only contains a small amount compared to coffee. It also contains tryptophan and serotonin 19, which are both important for restful sleep. If you choose the right kind of chocolate – sugar-free and dark – you won’t have to feel guilty about enjoying it late at night. Just check out the nutrition info below for our Keto Dark Chocolate to see why.
Nutrition: 120 calories | 11g fat | 1g net carbs | 2g protein.
Just because you’re on a keto diet, doesn’t mean you won’t get hungry at night.
It’s ok to succumb to midnight cravings as long as you do so with healthy options. Ideally, you’ll want to have an arsenal of good-for-you foods in your fridge and pantry for those types of cravings.
We’ve found 9 of the best options that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating when it’s way past bedtime, or any other time for that matter! These treats are all low-carb but super nutritious. Some even have compounds that could have a favorable effect on sleep.
Want more snackspiration? Check out these links: