10 Healthy Snacks to Keep You Fueled

Whether you love salty or sweet, these dietitian-approved snacks will satisfy your cravings.


While you’ll find info on a ton of diet plans online, the Mediterranean diet continues to emerge as the poster child for healthy eating, garnering praise from many dietitians and other health professionals. The Mediterranean diet incorporates traditional foods from countries around the sunny Mediterranean, including Spain, Italy, Greece, and Tunisia. Nutrition experts laud it for its reliance on whole foods and the fact that it’s easy to follow.

In truth, the Mediterranean diet is less of a hardened plan and more of an eating lifestyle. There are no strict calorie counts or macronutrient guidelines. In fact, it doesn’t call for any serious diet restrictions. You can eat bread, for example, especially if it is dipped in olive oil. This makes it flexible and easy to maintain over a lifetime.

Your Snack Choices May Sabotage Your Healthy Eating Habits

When it comes to its health-improvement potential, the proof is in the pudding (or the tapenade). Over the last few decades, a raft of research has demonstrated the Mediterranean diet is a champion for good health. Numerous studies show following the diet have a positive impact on heart healthdiabetes riskbone strength, the risk for some cancers, and brain function.

So, what makes the plant-forward Mediterranean diet so healthy? It focuses on healthy ingredients—namely whole grains, vegetables, herbs, fruits, legumes, olive oil, nuts, and fish. If you follow this diet, you end up eating greater amounts of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Just as important as what the diet contains is what it reins in: sugars, refined grains, red meats, and ultra-processed foods.

You don’t need to ride on a sunny Greek isle (although, that would be awesome) to reap the health- and performance-boosting perks of the Mediterranean diet. You can eat like an Italian peloton while sticking closer to home by simply adding more Mediterranean-style foods into your snacking routine.

10 Mediterranean Healthy Snacks for Cyclists

1. Lemony Tahini Stuffed Dates

dates stuffed with processed cheese and thyme

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When you need an energizing snack before a big ride this one hits the mark. Made from ground-up sesame seeds, tahini supplies both calcium and phosphorus—two minerals that play a vital role in maintaining strong bones.

16 dates
⅓ cup tahini
2 Tbsp honey
Zest of 1 lemon
⅛ tsp salt

In a small bowl, stir together tahini, lemon, honey, and salt. Slice open dates, being careful not to slice all the way through, and stuff with tahini spread.

2. Grape Crostini

Red grapes are a leading source of resveratrol, a phytochemical that may have some cancer-fighting properties. Za’atar—a spice mixture of Mediterranean wild thyme and toasted sesame seeds— is a Mediterranean diet pantry staple. You can shake it over roasted vegetables or sprinkle on hummus. And, of course, no Med-style of eating is complete without making frequent use of anti-inflammatory extra virgin olive oil.

6 baguette slices
2 Tbsp goat cheese
12 grapes
12 Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Toast baguette slices. Spread goat cheese on bread. Top with halved red grapes and sliced olives. Drizzle a little olive oil over fruit and sprinkle seasoning on top.

3. Sardine Salad Crackers

sardines in olive oil and peppercorns in a can with saltine crackers and a fork on a plate

Bill Boch//Getty Images

Canned sardines are a small but mighty source of mega-healthy fats, protein, and vitamin D. According to a 2023 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming more whole grains, such as 100 percent whole wheat crackers, and fewer refined grains could help protect against cardiovascular disease too.

8 - 10 whole-grain crackers
Tin of sardines
2 Tbsp olive oil mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp Smoked paprika

Place a tin of sardines in a bowl and gently break apart the flesh with a fork. Stir in olive oil mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, and parsley. Spread on whole-grain crackers.

4. Sweet Savoury Snack Mix

This gussied-up trail mix abides by the Mediterranean diet rules for a snack that offers up a winning mix of good-for-you fats, antioxidant-rich fruit, and the necessary hunger-silencing protein and fibre.

½ cup sea salt roasted chickpeas
1/3 cup roasted almonds
3 Tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
¼ cup dried apricots, sliced
¼ cup dried plums (prunes), sliced
3 Tbsp dark chocolate chunks

Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl. Toss with roasted almonds, shelled sunflower seeds, sliced dried apricots, sliced dried plums, and dark chocolate chunks.

5. Mini Caprese Skewers

This has all the ingredients of a classic Italian caprese salad layered onto skewers for a quick and protein-rich snack. With a higher moisture content, fresh mozzarella also has fewer calories, gram for gram, than hard cheese.

24 small mozzarella balls
24 fresh basil leaves
24 small salami slices
12 cherry tomatoes, slice in half
3 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Thread small mozzarella balls, fresh basil leaves, salami slices and cherry tomatoes on small skewers. Thin pesto with some olive oil and red wine vinegar and drizzle over skewers. Sprinkle on some coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper.

6. Artichoke Hummus

overhead view of a bowl of hummus with cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber batons

OatmealStories//Getty Images

No Mediterranean snacking spread is complete without hummus. It’s a great way to sneak more protein- and fibre-rich legumes into your eating routine. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when people snacked on hummus rather than a granola bar in the afternoon, they experienced less hunger and were less likely to indulge in desserts later on. Sure, you could press the easy button with store-bought hummus, but why not amp up the flavour and freshness with this artichoke-infused DIY version?

1 400g can chickpeas, drained
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp tahini
2 minced garlic gloves
Juice of ½ lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
1 425g can artichoke hearts, quartered
Crackers, pita chips, and sliced veggies

Place all ingredients except artichoke hearts in a food processor container and blend until smooth. Blend in artichoke hearts. Serve with crackers, pita chips, or sliced veggies.

7. Cherry Cheesecake

Rich-tasting ricotta has more muscle-boosting whey protein than other styles of cheese; walnuts supply important omega-3 fats; while cherries are rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenol antioxidants. In other words, this has all the elements for a stand-out post-ride recovery food. Make a second one if you’ve been riding lots and burning heaps of calories.

¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 brown rice cake
¼ cup thawed frozen cherries
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp honey

Spread ricotta cheese on rice cakes and top with thawed frozen cherries. Sprinkle on chopped walnuts and mint. Drizzle on a touch of honey.

8. Instant Med-Style Nachos

healthy snacks - mexican corn tortilla chips with tomato salsa dip

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Who says a delicious plate of nachos is just for game day? By choosing chips that are made with beans, you can effortlessly elevate your fibre and protein intake. Tzatziki, a creamy cucumber yoghurt dip, adds an extra layer of protein and some gut-benefiting probiotics to help fortify your microbiome a.k.a. gut bacteria.

2 cups bean-based nacho chips
⅓ cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp pickled jalapenos
2 Tbsp sliced olives
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1/3 cup tzatziki

Spread nacho chips in an even layer on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle grated cheese and pickled jalapeños on top. Heat on high for one minute or just until the cheese is melted. Top with olives, salsa, and tzatziki.

9. Figgy Protein Balls

This snack has what it takes to keep you feeling on top of your game all day long. They are also the perfect make-ahead snack option. Beyond their energizing carbs, figs are a surprising source of bone-benefiting calcium. You can even take a few of these with you on your next long ride for a tasty way to stay well-fueled.

1 ½ cups dried figs, stems trimmed
⅓ cup chocolate protein powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup smooth almond butter
½ tsp cinnamon
Zest of one medium orange
Juice of ½ orange

Soak figs in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and process in a food processor with protein powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, tsp cinnamon, orange zest, orange juice, and salt. Form into 2-3cm balls.

10. Cottage Cheese Bowls

diverse keto dishes - a healthy snack

lisegagne//Getty Images

Like Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse to help speed up muscle recovery. Strawberries give you fibre and health-boosting antioxidants, while the Med-favourite pistachio provides a trifecta of healthy fats, plant-based protein, and fibre. A whisper of balsamic syrup offers sugar-free tangy sweetness.

¾ cup cottage cheese
½ cup strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp pistachios
2 Tbsp balsamic syrup, if available

Place a cup of cottage cheese in a bowl and top with strawberries and pistachios. Drizzle on balsamic syrup.

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