If you’ve flown anywhere recently, you know it’s just about impossible to find wholesome, healthy food at the airport. Which means, your stomach’s at the mercy of processed “convenience” foods loaded with sodium and empty calories. So, here are a few “eat healthier” tips from Caroline Costello, an editor at IndependentTraveler.com.
- Pack your lunch, especially if you’re on a restricted sodium diet. Check your airline’s carry-on regulations first. Some airlines let you bring a small bag of food in addition to your carry-on bag, but some don’t.
- Then, if you buy snacks at the airport, look for whole foods like bananas, apples, nuts, yogurt and dried fruit. Costello says they’re not available in every terminal – and they’re not always fresh.
So, what if fast food is your only option? Here are the foods to avoid, and some healthy alternatives:
- First, skip any chain that doesn’t post nutritional information. If they won’t tell you what you’re eating, they’ve probably got something to hide.
- If your airport restaurant of choice is Au Bon Pain, skip the Baja Turkey Sandwich - which racks up 700 calories. Instead, get a bowl of Garden Veggie soup – which has 620 fewer calories!
- Then, if you land at McDonald’s, skip anything called “double,” “crispy” or “deluxe.” Like the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese - which contains 740 calories and your daily limit for saturated fat! For less than half the calories, get a Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken and Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Also, skip the Stuffed Crust Pizza at Pizza Hut. You can save 150 calories and loads of fat by eating a slice of Regular Pan Pizza instead.
- Finally, if you’re looking for breakfast, skip the cinnamon roll at Cinnabon. It contains 813 calories – two-thirds of the recommended calories for the day for a 150 pound woman. If you can’t resist the smell of Cinnabon – and who can – get their new Minibon, which has only 300 calories. The healthiest airport breakfast option is: Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal with a scoop of nuts or dried fruit for a mere 240 calories.