Experts say the old expression about, “You are what you eat…” is especially true when you’re 5 miles high and moving at 600 miles per hour. So, here’s a list of the things you shouldn’t eat when traveling by plane:

  • Fried or fast food. That’s because the saturated fat you get from just one fast-food cheeseburger, large fries, and milkshake inflames your arteries immediately afterward. It interferes their ability to expand for healthy blood flow. And when you combine that with the cabin pressure on a plane - which can cause blood to pool in your legs - you have the recipe for a potentially life-threatening blood clot!
  • Alcohol. Eric Rimm is a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. He says that the dehydrating effects of alcohol are intensified by the low humidity of plane cabins. That means you’ll get drunk faster, and come off your flight unable to safely drive your rental car.
  • Don’t chew sugar-free gum on planes. Since our bodies don’t do a good job of digesting artificial sweeteners, they produce gas. And in the low-pressure environment of an airplane, that can lead to a bloated stomach and a bad case of gas.
  • Don’t have anything from the in-flight beverage cart. Surprised? It turns out, carbonated drinks expand your stomach in low pressure. And coffee and tea made onboard aren’t heated enough to kill bacteria – like E. coli – which an estimated 1-in-7 planes have in their water tanks! Experts say you’re okay asking for canned juice or bottled water - just skip the ice, because it’s often made on board.

Lesson Expert

Betsy Chase

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