How to Snack on the Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet Snacks
The Mediterranean diet has gained popularity worldwide for its health benefits and delicious flavors. While the focus is primarily on meals, snacking can play a significant role in this wholesome eating pattern.
In this blog post, we'll delve into the art of Mediterranean diet snacking and explore some mouthwatering options to keep you satisfied and nourished throughout the day.
In today's fast-paced world, finding time to eat healthy can be a challenge. If your meals are not quite large enough to take you from one meal to the next, if you are very active, or if you are always on the go, healthy snacking could be an important part of well-rounded diet.
Snacks can provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and energy. Having a snack can also help you from becoming too hungry, and thus having a snack might be key to preventing overeating.
In America, we have a habit of snacking on processed foods. Chips, granola bars, goldfish crackers, and whatever comes prepackaged can be easy, but these foods are not the best option. Rather than providing essential nutrients, many of these prepackaged foods are mostly “empty calories”. The sugars, white flour, and preservatives can leave you feeling hungrier, rather than more satiated as well.
Rather than grabbing a handful of whatever is laying around, we try to select foods that will provide us with some additional nutrients and bridge the hunger gap from one meal to the next.
Tips for How to Snack:
Here are some helpful tips for how to pick your next snack.
Whole Foods for Health:
Whenever possible, choose whole foods over processed snacks.
Whole foods are minimally processed so they retain their natural nutrients. This also means they do not contain any preservatives or additives. Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, homemade trail mix, or a piece of whole-grain toast with avocado are all excellent options. These choices provide vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber for optimal health.
Balanced Choices for Longevity:
When it comes to healthy snacking, balance is key.
We like to include a combination of macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats—in your snacks whenever we can. This balance helps keep us satiated and provides sustained energy throughout the day.
For example, an apple may seem like a great snack. It is a whole food and full of vitamins, which is awesome.
However, it is made of mostly of carbohydrates, which means your body will digest it quickly and you won’t feel satisfied for very long. If the apple is your only choice, it's better than chips. If possible, however, pair that healthy apple with a handful of nuts or nut butter for optimal staying power.
Other terrific options include: Greek yogurt with berries, sliced vegetables with hummus, or a handful of nuts and seeds.
Eat Mindfully as Much as Possible:
The best tip we have is to practice mindful eating when snacking. We sometimes find that we are reaching for snacks out of habit. If this is the case for you, maybe try skipping that snack to see how you feel.
If you do feel hungry, go ahead and have that snack. Slow down, savor each bite, and pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Engage all your senses and appreciate the flavors, textures, and aromas of your snacks.
This practice helps you become more aware of your food choices and prevents mindless eating.
What to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet:
We’ve talked so far about how to select a health, satisfying snack. Here are some tips from the Mediterranean Diet on what to pick for your snack.
Embrace Fresh Produce:
In the Mediterranean diet, fresh fruits and vegetables take center stage. Snack on vibrant, colorful produce like cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, or a handful of juicy grapes. These nutrient-rich snacks are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, contributing to your overall well-being.
You can pair delicious veggies and fruits with nuts, nut butters, hummus and more to add the fiber and protein that will help keep you satisfied.
Savor the Power of Nuts:
Nuts and seeds are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and make for a satisfying snack. Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are excellent choices. Rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they provide a sustained energy boost and support heart health.
Enjoy a small handful as a midday pick-me-up.
Delight in Olives and Hummus:
Olives and hummus are iconic Mediterranean snacks. Olives are a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Hummus, made from chickpeas, offers protein and fiber.
Dip some crunchy raw vegetables, such as carrot sticks or bell pepper slices, into your favorite hummus for a nutrient-packed snack.
Dive into Greek Yogurt:
Greek yogurt is a Mediterranean diet superstar. Creamy, tangy, and loaded with protein, it makes for a delightful snack. Add some fresh berries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of nuts for a nutritious and indulgent treat that satisfies your sweet tooth while keeping you full and satisfied.
Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite Mediterranean Diet snacks. They are quick, easy, and delicious, with staying power.
- Fruit with nuts or nut butter (apple slices with almond butter is an iconic combination that even kids love)
- Hummus with veggies or pita chips
- Dried fruit (ideally no sugar added) and nuts
- Veggies with salsa or guacamole
- A smoothie (check our website for great ideas!)
- Yogurt with fruit or chia seeds
- Applesauce with chia seeds
- A mini-meal: a smaller portion of your lunch or dinner
- Check out our Snack Recipe Book for over 20+ amazing Mediterranean Diet snacks and snack ideas
Snacks on the Mediterranean Diet:
Mediterranean diet snacking is a delightful way to embrace the flavors and health benefits of this renowned eating pattern.
By incorporating fresh produce, nuts, Greek yogurt, and Mediterranean staples like olives and hummus into your snack repertoire, you can experience the joy of wholesome, delicious snacking while reaping the rewards of a nutrient-rich diet.
Elevate your snacking habits and embark on a journey to a healthier you.
Need More Ideas?
Our Mediterranean Diet Snack Recipe Book has you covered!
- Includes over 20 Mediterranean Diet snacks, from salty to sweet, crunchy to creamy, to satisfy every hunger!
- Recipes include: easy to prepare, grab and go, and make-ahead. Lots of great no-cook ideas included as well.
- The perfect accompaniment to your Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
- Snacks are full of nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, protein & vitamins
- Available instant PDF downloads (no waiting!)