Eating Yogurt Before Bed – Good or Bad?

Did you know that the name of this super nutritional diary product originally comes from Turkey? The history of yogurt has begun millenniums ago, somewhere on the vast steppes of Central Asia. Most of historians agree that it was an accident discovery, just as other fermented milk products.

According to historical findings, herdsmen cultures of Central Asia had begun the practice of milking animals; as they have travelled across the land, they needed to preserve the milk. They have carried it around in leather containers, so the milk naturally got fermented.  The people liked the taste of such spoiled milk, so they’ve just continued the practice.

Traveling across vast landscapes and through long periods of human civilization, we’ve found ourselves in early twentieth century Spain, where the first industrialized production of yogurt has begun. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular yogurt brands in the world.

Since then, numerous companies, big and small, have been creating various yogurt products, from plain yogurt to fruit flavored desserts, frozen yogurt and such. Therefore, when we talk about eating yogurt in the evening or at any other time of day, we need to mind what type of yogurt we speak about. Obviously, eating plain yogurt could not have the same effect compared to sweetened yogurt treats, for example.

Yogurt types

Let us briefly go through the most common types of yogurt, to be sure what we talk about when it comes to having a yogurt before going to bed. We have plain yogurt, in the first place. It varies in density and the fat content.

For example, people in Balkans produce a type of yogurt that is usually in a form of fermented milk drink; it also varies in density and it is an integral part of good, strong Balkan breakfast, consisting of yogurt and ‘burek’, a greasy and tasteful strudel like pie, filled with cheese, mushrooms, greens or such. Plain yogurt is available in non-fat to full fat versions.

Greek yogurt is also very popular. It is quite dense and it is originally made from sheep milk, but cow milk type is also available. It is creamy and thick and it comes in all versions, from non-fat to full fat. Besides plain Greek yogurt, some companies have started to produce fruit flavored, chocolate flavored and spiced Greek yogurt, as a sort of desserts.

Frozen yogurt is very popular sort of dessert, nowadays. However, there are many products labeled frozen yogurt that actually doesn’t contain any of prebiotic cultures real yogurt originally has, so you need to make sure whether it is made by regular process of milk fermentation or not. Moreover, frozen yogurt usually contains a lot of sugar and artificial flavors, so it is not so healthy choice. You may suppose it is not recommended to be eaten in the evening.

Is it ok to eat yogurt before bed?

It is difficult to make a sustainable judgment over the matter, since opinions are quite divided. While some people claim eating yogurt before sleep could be a good choice if you get hungry in the evening and you don’t want to have a heavier meal or grab some snacks and you don’t crave for sweets, others don’t think it is a good idea. Generally, plain yogurt is beneficial to our health. It promotes digestion and it keeps our intestines in good shape.

Yogurt is also good for individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance; it is a rare diary product most of those people may enjoy, without stomach upset and other digestive issues. Yogurt contains valuable proteins, good bacteria cultures, a considerable and useful amount of calcium and other essential ingredients.

According to some medical and fitness experts, yogurt is a perfect food to sedate your escalating evening hunger cravings. It is full of useful nutrients and generally low in calories. We speak of plain yogurt, of course, the type made from skimmed milk. To prevent weight gain risk, opt for low or non-fat yogurt.

So, no frozen yogurt, no full fat yogurt, no other yogurt desserts and flavored products. An approximate serving of plain yogurt contains about 180 calories, which could be included in your regular daily calorie intake, without the threat of weight gain. Moreover, eating yogurt in the evening would help your body keep the muscle tissue in good shape. Thanks to its protein content, yogurt would assist your body in building up the muscles during the night.

On the other hand, ancient Hindi medicine practice, Ayurveda, claim eating fermented milk product at night could be bad for your health. Their texts speak of curd, in particularly, which is similar to yogurt. The ayurvedic explanation is that curd (or yogurt) causes the body stage known as kappha, which lies behind the production of mucus, so it is a potential risk for people prone to cold and cough. However, modern medicine experts say this is simply not applicable to everyone.

On the contrary, they advise eating yogurt or curd before bed is even beneficial. Modern lifestyle makes us lose the good bacteria in our digestive system, weakens our immune system and gets us various other bad health conditions. Yogurt is full of nutrition elements, good for our generally body recovery and creating a beneficial intestine surroundings, so it is a good option for a late evening snack. It is far better than a greasy salty snack or sweets, obviously.

A perfect bedtime yogurt serving

There is no sustainable verdict we could make upon the practice of eating yogurt at night. As with all other (healthy) viands, it is all about moderation and wise eating. If you want to keep, your body in good shape and experience benefits from healthy food, such as yogurt, mind your daily calorie intake. So, if you go overboard, you’ll consume some calories more. Since you go to sleep, your body won’t burn them all and you could get some undesirable extra pounds. It’s all about calculating and amounts. A number of 180 calories coming from an average yogurt serving could be easily included in your daily diet plan.

If you tend to have hunger cravings before you go to bed and those would disturb your sleep, choose wisely the food you’ll eat late at night. A serving of plain yogurt would be ok, especially if you choose low fat option.

Keep in mind only plain yogurt would get you benefits, without undesirable side effects in form of extra pounds or other issues. Avoid flavored and sweetened yogurt products, frozen yogurts and such. If you crave for something sweeter, you could mix some plain low fat Greek yogurt with a hand of fresh blueberries, for example. It would make you feel full, without causing you digestive problems or weight gain. A good and healthy diet plan is always a key to good health, quality sleep and general lifestyle.