mediterranean diet snacksDid you miss this article? Are you desperately looking for snack food items that do not only taste good but are good for your health as well? If you are, then rest assured you have finally found what you’ve been looking for! You may not know it but the Mediterranean diet can actually provide you with all the good stuff – and that includes all the right snacks. It can provide you with a list of healthier food choices that will not make you fat, clog up your arteries, raise your blood sugar and blood pressure level or encourage the proliferation of cancer cells. Sound interesting enough for you? Okay then, let’s get started!

If you can’t seem to give up your snacking habits, then you will be glad to know that the Mediterranean diet actually allows it – as long as you eat healthy Mediterranean snacks – ie. approved snacks. Some of these include the following:

Whole Wheat Pizza
Whoever said that pizza is quite an unhealthy indulgence should think twice when they read this! To be quite honest about it, pizza can be one of the most nutritious snacks ever – especially if you use whole wheat crust and top it with a variety of farm-fresh vegetables. Go easy on the cheese as well if you want to keep your body in good shape.

Why is whole wheat pizza good for you? Well, experts agree that eating whole grains can actually reduce your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases while tomato sauce provides your body with significant amounts of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent a number of ailments, including several forms of cancer. By topping your pizza with herbs and vegetables, you are adding significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber into the mix as well. As for the cheese, well, it contains protein and calcium which is considered essential for promoting better bone health. What more can you possibly ask for? You can also try preparing tomato bruschetta to achieve the same health benefits.

Did you know that snacking on a handful of pistachio nuts can leave you feeling full and satisfied? Best of all, you can munch on it without having to worry about your waistline! An ounce of pistachios barely contains 160 calories, the lowest among all the nuts. Well, that’s basically the reason why pistachios are called the ‘skinny nuts’. Care to have some?

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are one of the best snacks you can ever have. It has loads and loads of cancer-fighting and heart-friendly carotenoids and is also rich in fiber which can help keep your glycemic index at a healthier level. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin B (which can help prevent heart attacks), vitamin C (which is essential for bone, teeth and skin health as well as in proper digestion and blood cell formation), vitamin D (for proper functioning of the immune system). Sweet potatoes also contain iron, magnesium and potassium. Don’t over do this one as they are fried – right!

Roasted Chickpeas
If you find yourself craving for some salty snack, the best thing that you can do is to grab a handful of crunchy roasted chickpeas instead. Chickpeas contain significant amounts of fiber that helps support proper digestive health and promotes healthier blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to a report published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Appetite, supplementing your diet with chickpeas can also control your satiety level. As such, including chickpeas to your diet can play a significant role in keeping your weight at a healthier level.

Here’s how you can prepare your own roasted chickpeas at home:

  • Put two cans of rinsed and drained chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes or until they are dark and crunchy.
  • Sprinkle with salt and paprika to taste, and roast for a few minutes more.

Do you think you can satisfy your cravings with these healthy Mediterranean snacks? Why don’t you try them to see if they will?

We’ll be sharing some other healthy Mediterranean snack choices in future posts so keep your eye out! …not literally 🙂

Enjoy a guilt-free snack,
Ray Baker