Chips, dip, toast: 10 dietitian-approved snacks when you’re on the Mediterranean Diet

Delicious and oh-so-good for you.

With a reputation as one of the healthiest diets in the world, chances are you’ve thought about giving the Mediterranean diet a go. And while I’m not usually a fan of diets, I am more than happy to sing the praises of the Mediterranean diet from the rooftops.

It’s sensible, balanced and, most importantly, has a stack of scientific research supporting it’s health benefits, especially for your heart and brain.

In case you’re wondering, the Mediterranean diet is not an endless rotation of pizza, pasta and red wine. Instead, it’s heavily based on plants.

Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.

It highlights wholegrains, fruit, veggies and legumes, and the primary fat is oh-so-good-for-you olive oil. Seafood is featured, too, dairy is consumed occasionally and red meat takes a back seat.

If you’re considering jumping on the Med diet bandwagon, here are ten healthy foods I’d recommend including in your between-meal-bites.

10 healthy snacks when you’re on the Mediterranean diet

1. A slice of wholegrain toast

Wholegrains like wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta and brown rice contain far more nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants than their refined grainy counterparts. A slice of wholegrain toast makes for a satisfying afternoon snack – top it with a quarter of an avocado or a slice of cheese.

2. A handful of raw, unsalted nuts

Any and every nut will do, as long as it’s unsalted. Nuts provide heart-healthy fats, gut-loving fibre and plant-based protein, all of which work to keep hunger pangs a bay. A small handful (30 grams) of nuts a day is a healthy habit everyone should implement whether you’re on the Mediterranean diet or not.

3. Kale chips

Leafy green veggies are a big deal on the Mediterranean diet. To boost your intake of these nutritious superstars, try kale chips – simply chop the leaves, drench them in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and bake them in the oven until crisp. Delish.

4. A tin of tuna

While the Med diet shines the spotlight on plants, seafood is included, too. A tin of tuna is an easy, economical idea to boost your seafood intake. I’d suggest buying a top quality tin in oil, as flavoured varieties can be quite high in sodium. If you need a little flavour, add your own fresh herbs or chilli.

5. Roasted chickpeas

As part of the legume family, chickpeas are a great staple to have in your kitchen. In higher quantities, they’re proven to provide a host of health perks, like reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. For a tasty snack, I like to roast chickpeas in olive oil until crisp and then toss them in spices. Yum!

6. Crudités

Another option with veggies in mind, a plain old cup of veggie sticks always gets my tick of approval. Light on calories but big on nutrients, I’d suggest changing up the veggies you choose throughout the year depending on what’s in season. That way, you’ll get a different mix of different nutrients all year long.

7. Seasonal fruit

Just like veggies, your main priority is choosing fruit that’s in season. Aim to ‘eat the rainbow’, because different coloured fruits provide different disease-fighting antioxidants. Orange fruits like mango, for example, contain beta-carotene which is important for your eyes, while red fruits like strawberries provide lycopene which supports heart health.

8. One or two hard-boiled eggs

Protein-packed eggs provide heart-healthy fats and vitamin D which is important for strong bones. You could try boiling up a batch at the start of the week so they’re ready to peel and eat when afternoon hunger pangs strike.

9. Yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is a nutritious, high calcium option to include in your snack rotations. A plain variety is your best bet to avoid unnecessary added sugars. If you need a little extra flavour or sweetness, stir through some fresh fruit. Berries work a treat!

10. Hummus and a handful of wholegrain crackers

With legumes and wholegrains in mind, this is one of my go-to snacks. To take your hummus to the next level, make your own at home with canned chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice and tahini. It tastes infinitely better than anything you’d buy in a packet at the shops.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

Any products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale. Learn more.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here