Dinner is our last and biggest meal of the day. Choosing the right food for dinner is very important as this meal provides us with a lot of nutrition and sustains us for the next day.
The food we eat at night can affect our sleep, our ability to lose weight, or worsen certain health conditions like diabetes and acid reflux.
Eating wrong food for dinner leads to bad sleep at night. Quality sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and regulating insulin levels. If you feel hungry frequently during the day, it may be because you are not getting enough sleep. Poor sleep can cause you to eat more or skip exercising and gain more weight.
Read on to discover the ten worst foods you should never eat for dinner. Some of our tips on foods to avoid may surprise you.
Refined carbohydrates are foods like white bread and pasta that are made from wheat that has been processed to remove the wheat germ. Wheat germ is what gives whole wheat bread and unrefined pasta their more natural color and nutrients.
Sugary foods and drinks are also considered refined carbohydrates. When we eat these foods, the intestines quickly break them down into simple sugars and for this reason, they have a high glycemic index or GI. High GI foods raise blood sugar levels quickly and the excess sugar is stored as fat.
Avoiding or limiting these foods is considered unhealthy, and if we eat them before bed when we have no chance to burn them off, they can be even more damaging to our waistline and body fat percentage.
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Eating more foods high in saturated fat, such as takeaways, fried foods and some convenience foods, as well as red and processed meats, puts a lot of stress on our digestive system.
Our intestines require a lot of energy to digest these foods, which signals to the brain that we are still awake during the day, which disrupts our sleep patterns.
Sleep studies show that eating a high-fat meal at dinner makes us wake up more at night and spend less time in a restorative sleep state known as REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep. It can also affect the way we breathe while we sleep and disturb sleep due to acid reflux.
There aren’t many people who don’t enjoy chocolate bars. But as we learned from soda, sugar can affect our sleep patterns and lead to chronic lifestyle diseases, especially if we eat sugary foods before bed.
Additionally, chocolate naturally contains caffeine, which disrupts our sleep patterns, leaving us tired, lacking energy, and lethargic the next day. Generally, the darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine content.
And there is so much more! Chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine, which makes us feel good after eating chocolate. But this is the reason why chocolate can prevent us from sleeping if we eat it before going to bed. This can be especially detrimental to sleep if we are particularly sensitive to caffeine.
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Curry, chili and other spicy foods can negatively affect our sleep patterns for several reasons. First, they can cause acid reflux and indigestion that can be so uncomfortable that it keeps us awake.
Finally, eating hot, spicy food will temporarily raise our body temperature, which can also negatively affect our sleep: high body temperature is associated with sleep disturbances. For this reason, it is best to eat spicy foods as early in the evening as possible.
Surprisingly, coffee is the worst thing to drink in the evening because it disrupts our sleep-wake cycle. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. When these receptors are not blocked, adenosine can bind to them and cause drowsiness.
Coffee is great for increasing our alertness and productivity during the day. But if we drink too much (more than four cups a day is usually fine, ideally before lunch), we can have trouble sleeping.
In fact, one study found that “taking caffeine six hours before bed reduced total sleep time by one hour.” Then we wake up tired the next day, drink more and more coffee, and the cycle continues.
Also Read: 5 Foods You Should Never Eat for Lunch
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