Eating cheese and crackers for dinner can actually be beneficial for weight loss. It can be a super filling and nutritious late-night snack. Especially if you combine it with avocado, eggs, seeds, nuts, berries, or certain greens!
7 reasons why cheese & crackers before bed support weight loss!
A cracker with cheese can be a great late-night snack for weight loss because it’s a good dietary source of protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc. Also, it contains decent amounts of zinc, magnesium, potassium, and many more nutrients that involved in energy metabolism.
The nutritional value of this favorite snack can vary greatly, depending on the serving size, as well as the type of cheese and cracker.
1. Cheese and crackers promote satiety
Firstly, eating cheese and crackers at dinner is good for weight loss because they can keep you full until bedtime. This snack is an excellent dietary source of fiber and protein.
Foods high in fiber and protein promote the feeling of fullness for many hours because they delay digestion.
Moreover, fiber expands in the stomach, taking a lot of space. In addition, protein has the highest thermic effect. About 30% of protein is burned during digestion.
A cracker with cheese contains about 9.6 grams of protein. Many cheeses are high in protein.
In addition, a serving of whole wheat crackers provides about 2.9 grams of fiber, which is about 10% of the Daily Value.
Eating dinner that prevents snacking is crucial for any long-term, low-calorie diet for weight loss. Late-night snacking can make you fat.
Additionally, a cracker with cheese supports weight loss because it’s particularly rich in calcium. A serving provides about 21% of the Daily Value. This amount can vary greatly, depending on serving portions, as well as cheese and cracker type.
High calcium intake is beneficial for weight loss because it has potent anti-obesity properties. Calcium is involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, increases thermogenesis, and may prevent fat accumulation.
In fact, a calcium-rich diet may improve body composition and burn belly fat.
Most cheeses are high in calcium. However, the richest cheese in calcium is Parmesan.
Furthermore, a snack with cheese and crackers is pretty high in phosphorus. A serving provides about 32% of the Daily Value. Both wheat and cheese are excellent dietary sources of phosphorus.
Phosphorus supports weight loss because it enhances postprandial energy expenditure and reduces appetite. In fact, diets high in phosphorus have been associated with reduced Body Mass Index (BMI) and lower waist circumference. High phosphorus intakes help burn belly fat.
Actually, you can skyrocket your daily phosphorus intake by following a healthy, well-balanced, plant-based diet.
4. Vitamin B12
Most noteworthy, eating 1–2 crackers with cheese helps meet our daily vitamin B12 needs. A cracker with a piece of cheese provides about 12% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, as there aren’t many foods with decent amounts of vitamin B12. The main dietary sources of vitamin B12 for most people are eggs, poultry, red meat, fish, or dairy products.
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with increased risk of obesity, as it’s a key vitamin for energy metabolism. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in obese people.
Although vitamin B12 is vital for weight loss, it isn’t necessary to consume animal-derived foods. Vitamin B12 supplementation may be a better option.
You’ll find a wide variety of vitamin B12 supplements at unbeatable prices on iHerb, which it’s a global leader in dietary supplements and natural products.
In addition, crackers with cheese are excellent dietary sources of selenium. A serving provides about 20% of the Daily Value.
The richest common cheeses in selenium are cheddar and mozzarella.
Healthy levels of selenium are necessary for a lean body. Selenium supports weight loss, as it’s involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones and energy metabolism.
Eating cheese with crackers before bed is good for weight loss because it’s an excellent dietary source of zinc. A serving can provide more than 16% of the Daily Value.
Zinc deficiency is common among men.
It’s vital to get high intakes of zinc from diet while dieting. Among other health benefits, zinc reduces appetite, improves insulin resistance, and above all, it appears to treat metabolic dysfunctions associated with obesity.
Meat, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and fortified foods are the main sources of zinc for most people. Certain fish and seafood are high in zinc as well.
Some plant-based foods, such as seeds, nuts, whole grains, and beans also contribute to meet our daily needs.
7. May support sleep
Last, but not least, eating cheese and crackers for dinner promotes a good night’s sleep.
This favorite snack is packed with compounds that relax the muscles and support sleep onset latency!
For instance, it’s high in tryptophan. This amino acid is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that manages sleep cycles and relaxes the body.
Can eating cheese & crackers at night make you fat?
Yes, eating high amounts of cheese and crackers before bed can make you gain weight.
Above all, both cheese and crackers have too many calories. So, you should be very mindful of portion sizes.
Firstly, just a small piece of cheese may have more than 70 calories! So, people who want to lose weight should eat small amounts of cheese only two or three times per week.
Crackers have many calories as well. Even healthy, whole grain crackers have about 450 calories per 100g. Just a cracker has about 35 calories!
Therefore, 4 crackers with 2 slices of cheese have about 210.
Moreover, cheese and crackers for dinner may be bad for weight loss and overall health because both are packed with sodium. Just a serving of crackers with cheese can provide 18% of the maximum safe daily intake of sodium!
High sodium intake has been associated with increased risk of obesity.
You should be very cautious with sodium intake. According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn’t consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Less is even better.
Packaged foods, fast, food, canned vegetables, baked products, butter, and cheese are the main dietary sources of sodium for most people.
We should limit their consumption to the minimum. Following a healthy, whole-food, plant-based diet is beneficial for limiting the amount of consumed sodium.
In addition, eating high amounts of crackers with cheese at dinner may be bad for weight loss and health because they may have unhealthy fats.
In fact, just a cracker with a slice of cheddar cheese provides about 46% of the maximum safe dose of saturated fat.
Cheddar, edam, provolone, brie, and blue cheese are particularly high in saturated fat. Also, these fatty cheese are high in trans fatty acids as well as cholesterol.
Hence, eating less fatty cheeses is beneficial for your health.
Crackers may be high in fat as well. They usually contain high amounts of cheap vegetable oils, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Nowadays, we consume almost 15 times more omega-6s than omega-3s than our ancestors. This can cause chronic, low-grade inflammation, disease, and obesity.
Thus, it’s crucial to consume less packaged foods high inomega-6s while incorporating more foods with omega-3s to our diet.
What’s the best cheese to eat at dinner for weight loss?
Actually, the two healthiest cheeses you can eat at dinner are ricotta and cottage cheese. These cheeses have significantly less saturated fat and sodium than other common cheeses.
Ricotta cheese has less than 30 mg and 2 grams of sodium and saturated fat per serving, respectively.
2% cottage cheese has about 91 mg of sodium and only 0.35 grams of saturated fat per serving.
Thus, a serving of cottage or ricotta cheese before bed is a great late-night snack.
Cow’s milk, goat or vegan cheese for weight loss?
All types of cheese are good for weight loss, as long as you consume reasonable amounts as part of a well-balanced, hypocaloric diet.
But, all types of cheese are high in calories. Hence, we shouldn’t consume too much.
- Goat cheese has between 250 and 450 calories per 100g.
- Cow’s milk cheese has between 80 and 420 calories per 100g.
- Vegan cheese has many calories as well. For instance, cashew cheese has approximately 320 calories per 100g.
What’s the ideal cracker to eat at night for weight loss?
As a rule of thumb, you should consume whole grain products. They’re much healthier as they have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber!
For instance, regular wheat crackers have only 6.9 grams, while whole wheat crackers have 10.3 grams of fiber per 100g. They have almost 50% more fiber than regular crackers!
Consuming foods high in fiber promotes the feeling of fullness, regulating total energy intake. Fiber-rich crackers prevent late-night snacking.
Can I eat cheese before bed while on a diet?
Yes, eating a small piece of cheese at dinner won’t make you fat. As long as you consume fewer calories than you burn.
How much cheese can I eat at night without gaining weight?
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t eat more than 2 small pieces of cheese at night. As most types of cheese are high in calories, consuming much higher amounts can make you gain weight.
Certainly, 2% cottage is the best option for weight loss. It has substantially fewer calories than other common cheeses. You can even eat more than 2 tablespoons while dieting.
How many crackers can I eat before bed for weight loss?
A cracker has about 35 calories. Hence, try to consume up to 4 crackers before bed if you’re on a diet.
Always check the nutrition facts level, though. Each brand has a different calorie content. As a rule of thumb, you should consume fewer than 150 calories from crackers before bed.
How to eat cheese and crackers at night for weight loss?
However, you could add many healthy foods to your cracker besides cheese. Adding foods high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and other health-promoting phytochemicals can greatly improve the nutritional value of your favorite snack.
Firstly, you could skyrocket the protein content of your snack by adding 1–2 slices of turkey, chicken, or any other lean meat. Fish like tuna and eggs are excellent dietary sources of protein as well.
Plant-based sources of protein that taste great with cheese and crackers are tofu, avocado, as well as most nuts and seeds.
In addition, you could add fiber-rich foods to your cracker. Only plant-based foods have fiber, though.
Avocado, dried fruits (e.g. cranberries, raisins), seeds, nuts, tofu, as well as vegetables (e.g. lettuce, spinach, arugula, onions, tomato) are particularly rich in fiber.
Also, you could eat cheese and crackers with foods high in melatonin before bed. Melatonin helps us sleep better at night.
Moreover, melatonin has potent anti-obesity properties. Among others, melatonin supports weight loss because it reduces hunger and increases metabolism.
Iron deficiency is pretty common worldwide. Especially among women of reproductive age, as they have increased iron needs. It can cause fatigue and inactivity. These are key reasons of obesity.
Cheese and crackers contribute to the daily iron intake. A serving provides almost 4% of the Daily Value.
We can greatly increase the total iron content of our favorite late-night snack by adding foods rich in iron, such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
There are many vegan foods with iron as well. Goji berries, avocado, and walnuts are among the richest plant-based sources of iron that taste great with cheese and crackers.
Furthermore, we should have normal levels of vitamin D to maintain a lean body year-round. But, as there aren’t many foods high in vitamin D, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common.
Certain fatty fish like salmon, mushrooms, and eggs are the best dietary sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin C has beneficial effects on belly fat burning as well. It’s involved in fat metabolism.
You could add tomato or pepper to cheese and crackers. They’re among the richest foods in vitamin C.
Moreover, It’s important for good health and weight loss to consume foods with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect the body from oxidative stress, which can cause obesity and many other diseases.
Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants. You could use them to spice up your favorite recipes.
As already mentioned, it’s crucial for good health and maintaining a normal body weight to consume adequate amounts of omega-3s.
Fish isn’t the only good dietary source of omega-3s. Many seeds, nuts, and even avocado are excellent dietary sources.
25 easy, quick & healthy recipe ideas with cheese and crackers
There are countless ways to eat cheese and crackers for dinner. Here are 25 easy and quick recipe ideas.
- Tuna Salad Crackers:
- Ingredients: Canned tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, diced red onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, cheese, and crackers.
- Instructions: Mix tuna, mayonnaise, celery, red onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley. Spread the mixture onto crackers and top with grated cheese.
- Smoked Salmon Bites:
- Ingredients: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, capers, red onion, cucumber slices, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, and capers. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with smoked salmon, sliced red onion, and cucumber.
- Eggs with Crispy Bacon:
- Ingredients: Hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, crispy bacon, chives, crackers.
- Instructions: Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half. Remove the yolks. Mix the yolks with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites. Top with crispy bacon and chives. Serve with crackers.
- Turkey and Avocado Crackers:
- Ingredients: Sliced turkey breast, avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, crackers.
- Instructions: Mash the avocado with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the avocado mixture onto crackers. Top with sliced turkey, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro leaves, and grated cheese.
- Chicken Caesar Crackers:
- Ingredients: Grilled chicken breast, Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, crackers.
- Instructions: Slice the grilled chicken into thin strips. Toss the chicken with Caesar dressing. Place a leaf of romaine lettuce onto each cracker. Top with the chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of black pepper.
- Ham and Swiss Crackers:
- Ingredients: Sliced ham, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, pickles, dried cranberries, crackers.
- Instructions: Spread Dijon mustard onto crackers. Top with sliced ham and Swiss cheese. Garnish with thin pickle slices and dried cranberries.
- Cream Cheese and Tomato Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cream cheese, mixed herbs (parsley, dill, and chives), garlic powder, salt, pepper, cherry tomatoes, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the cream cheese, herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread the cream cheese with herbs onto crackers. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Cottage Cheese and Fruit Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cottage cheese, honey, mixed berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries), dried apricots, crackers.
- Instructions: Spread cottage cheese onto crackers. Drizzle with honey. Top with mixed berries and diced dried apricots.
- Brie and Fig Jam Crackers:
- Ingredients: Brie cheese, fig jam, fresh thyme leaves, dried figs, crackers.
- Instructions: Slice the brie cheese into thin pieces. Spread fig jam onto crackers. Top with brie cheese slices. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and diced dried figs.
- Spicy Guacamole and Chicken Crackers:
- Ingredients: Avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, diced cooked chicken, jalapeños, cilantro, crackers.
- Instructions: Mash the avocado with lime juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. Spread the guacamole onto crackers. Top with diced cooked chicken, jalapeño slices, and cilantro.
- Ricotta and Tomato Crackers with herbs:
- Ingredients: Ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, cherry tomatoes, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the ricotta cheese, herbs, salt, and pepper. Spread the ricotta with herbs onto crackers. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Creamy Cottage Cheese and Cucumber Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cucumber, dill, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with cucumber slices and dill.
- Spiced Ricotta and Berries Crackers:
- Ingredients: Ricotta cheese, honey, berries, cinnamon, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the ricotta cheese, honey, and cinnamon. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with mixed berries.
- Avocado and Feta Crackers:
- Ingredients: Avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, feta cheese, diced tomato, chopped cilantro, crackers.
- Instructions: Mash the avocado with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with crumbled feta cheese, diced tomato, and chopped cilantro.
- Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Crackers:
- Ingredients: Goat cheese, red pepper, chopped walnuts, crackers.
- Instructions: Spread goat cheese onto crackers. Top with sliced red pepper and chopped walnuts.
- Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Crackers:
- Ingredients: Ricotta cheese, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped chives, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the ricotta cheese, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with chopped chives.
- Chia Seed and Quinoa Crackers with Cottage Cheese:
- Ingredients: Cooked quinoa, chia seeds, salt, pepper, cottage cheese, almonds, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the cooked quinoa, chia seeds, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with cottage cheese and sliced almonds.
- Cream Cheese and Radish Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cream cheese, parsley, dill, chives, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sliced radishes, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the cream cheese, herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread the cream cheese with herbs onto crackers. Top with sliced radishes.
- Salad Crackers:
- Ingredients: Fresh mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, balsamic glaze, chopped basil, crackers.
- Instructions: Slice the fresh mozzarella cheese into thin pieces. Top each cracker with a slice of cheese and a cherry tomato. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with chopped basil.
- Ricotta and Honey Roasted Fig Crackers:
- Ingredients: Ricotta cheese, honey, dried figs, chopped almonds, crackers.
- Instructions: Mix the ricotta cheese and honey. Spread the mixture onto crackers. Top with sliced dried figs and chopped almonds. Bake in the oven at 350 °F for 5 minutes.
Vegan recipes with cashew cheese
- Cashew Cheese and Herb Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, dried herbs (such as basil, thyme, and oregano), salt, pepper, crackers.
- Instructions: Blend cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, dried herbs, salt, and pepper until creamy. Spread the cashew cheese onto crackers.
- Mediterranean Cashew Cheese and Olive Crackers:
- Ingredients: Cashew cheese, pitted Kalamata olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, pepper, crackers.
- Instructions: Blend cashew cheese, Kalamata olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and pepper until well combined. Spread the mixture onto crackers.
- Vegan Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates:
- Ingredients: Medjool dates, vegan cream cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, crackers.
- Instructions: Slice Medjool dates and remove the pits. Fill each date with vegan cheese. Top with a walnut and dried cranberry. Serve with crackers.
- Tomato and Cashew Cheese Bruschetta:
- Ingredients: Sliced baguette, cashew cheese, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, balsamic glaze, salt, pepper.
- Instructions: Toast the baguette slices until crisp. Spread cashew cheese onto the slices. Top with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Avocado and Cashew Cheese Lettuce Wraps:
- Ingredients: Large lettuce leaves, cashew cheese, mashed avocado, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper.
- Instructions: Place cashew cheese onto lettuce leaves. Top with mashed avocado, diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Roll up the lettuce leaves and secure with toothpicks. Serve with crackers.
What’s the best way to eat cheese at dinner for weight loss?
The best way to incorporate cheese to your diet is by using it to add taste to healthy but “boring” foods like salads.
Salads are among the best foods you can eat for weight loss. They keep you full for hours with only a few calories. Moreover, they’re packed with carotenoids and other antioxidants that help the body burn belly fat.
How long before bedtime can I eat cheese & crackers without gaining weight?
Meal timing is key for weight loss. We should have dinner at least two hours before bedtime. Otherwise, the risk of gaining weight increases by up to 5 times!
What’s the best time of the day to eat cheese & crackers for weight loss?
Certainly, a great time to eat cheese and crackers for weight loss is at dinner. You could enjoy your favorite snack at breakfast or between meals as a healthy, super filling snack.
Can people on keto eat cheese and crackers before bed?
Regular crackers aren’t keto-friendly. They have too many carbs. However, there are keto crackers made from nut flour that are keto-friendly. You can find a wide variety on Amazon.
What are other great late-night snacks?
You have so many delicious dinner options if you’re on a diet. Green salads, fruit salads, soups, smoothies, oats with yogurt, popcorn, oats egg omelet, and even healthy turkey, chicken, tuna, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great dinner options for weight loss.
Yogurt or cheese for weight loss?
Nonfat Greek yogurt is a better dinner option than most cheeses. Above all, it’s particularly high in protein. Yogurt, especially when combined with fiber-rich foods, it has a huge satiety effect. It can keep you full for many hours with only a few calories.
Also, it contains probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, which help the body burn belly fat.
Except for cottage and ricotta cheese, plain Greek yogurt is preferable for dinner when it comes to weight loss.
Foods to avoid eating at night for a lean body
As most people tend to overeat at night, we should be very mindful of consumed quantities of calorie-dense foods.
If you want to lose weight, you should avoid consuming fattening foods, such as fast food, fried or packaged foods, sweets, sodas, pasta etc.
Prefer filling and nutritious foods high in fiber and protein.