Why You Should Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed

peanut butter on bread

The adult diet should contain one of the favorite foods from childhood: Peanut butter. It is a food that is less likely to be stored as fat in the body than many other foods. Peanut butter is also rich in monounsaturated fats and contains a healthy source of protein. More significantly, peanut butter is said to aid in preventing heart disease.

peanut butter on bread

The dietary content of two tablespoons of peanut butter is:

  • 16 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 188 calories

While peanut butter has health benefits, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not such a good idea. Combining fats and carbohydrates takes a delicate balance that is not found in a P&J sandwich.

It is better to eat peanut butter with foods that are low in carbohydrates. Another childhood favorite, called ants on a log, is a good combination, however. Add a few raisins to peanut butter spread on a celery stalk.

You put peanut butter to good use when you eat it before going to bed. The healthy fats and protein combination in peanut butter slows digestion and prevents muscle breakdown. For a great source of polyunsaturated fats, eat peanut butter with a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt topped with a tablespoon of flaxseeds.

Eating Before Bedtime

Three hours after dinner, you feel a grumble in your stomach. For years, conventional wisdom indicated going to bed shortly after eating would cause weight gain. Many people stop eating after some designated time such as seven o’clock in the evening to prevent eating unnecessary calories that they think will make them fat.

This philosophy is based on myth. Eating the right bedtime snacks will not cause weight gain, but boosts the metabolism. Eating a snack at night keeps blood sugar levels stable. The snacks help achieve overall wellness goals such as weight control.

Even if you are not hungry, eating a snack at bedtime has substantial health benefits. There is no need to push through hunger pangs and going to bed on an empty stomach. There are five reasons to eat a snack at bedtime. They include:

  1. Promotes weight loss
  2. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  3. Aids in falling and staying asleep
  4. Provides energy for the work the body does while sleeping 
  5. Sets a person up for success

Promotes Weight Loss

It is an outdated theory that bedtime snacks are simply extra calories. Weight loss consists of more than calorie intake and the number of calories burned. If that theory were true, eating all the 100-calorie snacks and drinking all the diet soda you want could be counterbalanced with the proper equivalent of exercise at a gym.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

General health and weight loss occur by nourishing the body with nutrients such as peanut butter that provide the nutrients needed to work best and keep blood sugar levels stable. The right amount of the right food stabilizes blood sugar and causes the fat burning hormone, glucagon, to go to work.

Peanut butter is an item on the ‘right’ food list. Skipping a snack causes the blood sugar level to crash shortly after falling asleep. You have trouble sleeping and gain weight. A balanced bedtime snack like apples and peanut butter promotes weight loss.

muscular guy sleeping in bed

Aid to Fall and Stay Asleep

Many people have trouble falling or staying asleep. What you choose to eat is important. Surprisingly, the snack should contain fat and carbohydrates. A couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and half an apple will fill that requirement nicely.

Providing Energy for Work the Body Does While Sleeping

Your body continues to work while you sleep and needs energy. Low energy levels, sleep issues, fatigue, and weight gain are all affected by a person’s metabolism. Regularly supporting the metabolism puts a person on the path to better energy levels and a slimmer waistline.

What you eat is only part of supporting the metabolism. It is an important part. People who focused only on the fat-burning caused by a bedtime snack with healthy fats and carbohydrates saw dramatic results in just a week or so. Therefore, that peanut butter and apple eaten at bedtime really does matter.

When you go to bed, your body is going on a 7- to 9-hour fast. Muscles begin to break down and slip into a state of recovery. During this time, the muscles are repairing themselves and will start to grow.

Peanut butter is a food dense in calories and packed with healthy fats. A good amount of time is needed to digest peanut butter. The digestion fuels recovery all night. Taking peanut butter and a healthy amount of casein protein powder will enhance recovery and growth. It prevents the body from becoming catabolic at night and shutting down.

Sleep affects your weight, cravings, metabolism, appetite, energy levels, and immunity. The better you sleep at night, the better you will feel the next day. You do yourself a favor by eating a healthy carbohydrate and fat snack such as those ‘ants on a log’ and peanut butter and apple slices mentioned before. Your metabolism gets supportive rest needed to keep going all day long.

Setting the Stage for Success

There is no need to deprive yourself of a nutritious snack that will help brain power, energy levels, and weight control. There are other snacks besides peanut butter that can be eaten such as frozen berries with a couple of tablespoons of coconut or heavy cream.

The reasons why peanut butter is mentioned so frequently in this article are it is available all year round and very inexpensive. It is a staple in many homes and easy to prepare. Those reasons make incorporating peanut butter into a routine bedtime regimen easy.

All peanut butter is not the same. Choose a natural peanut butter that has no extra sugars or oils. The label of ingredients will list only peanuts. The peanut butter will likely separate. The separation is a good sign that the peanut butter is all natural. Simply stir it before eating.

Many people shy away from peanut butter thinking it is high in calories and fats. Peanut butter eaten in combination with other foods that are healthy provides benefits that cannot be denied.

Resources:

Five Reasons You Eat Before Bed, Simple Healthy life

Health Benefits of Peanuts, Harvard Health Blog

Is Peanut Butter Bad for Your Health?, Healthline

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