If you feel physically uncomfortable after eating overly processed junk food, it certainly won’t do your sleep any favors. Pizza packs a double whammy because it is high in saturated fat and sodium.
“Foods that are higher in saturated fat should be avoided at night — for example, butter, ice cream, and fried foods like french fries,” says Gabriel. In fact, one small study involving 26 normal-weight adults who usually slept between seven and nine hours a night found that high amounts of saturated fat eaten throughout the day led to lighter and “less restorative” sleep, according to results published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in January 2016. A single slice of cheese pizza from a 14-inch pie has nearly 5 grams of saturated fat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, the creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It — Taking You From Label to Table, says: “Many highly processed foods are also salty, which could cause you to wake up during the night to reach for something to drink.” A single slice of pepperoni pizza can deliver as much as a third of the sodium you need in a day, according to the American Heart Association.