Wellness News & Info

Healthy Airport Eating: Finding the Right Meal Combinations

airportHealthBusy airport passengers often have so much to do before a flight that they often forget to plan out a proper meal. People often rush before boarding their flight and they have little time to select a truly nutritious meal at the airport. Grabbing whatever is in sight at the food court is not always the best option when it comes to eating before a flight.

The typical food court at a busy airport may be filled with fast food, but there are still plenty of healthy options. For example, most pizzerias and fast food establishments offer various salad choices. It’s a good idea to order salad with fresh and nutritious vegetables that can be topped off with healthy dressings having unsaturated fat.
A salad isn’t going to fill up the stomach but it will provide a nutritious intake of food at an affordable price. After eating a salad, a light sandwich is a great food option to follow. Lean deli meats such as ham and turkey can be nicely combined with whole grain wheat breads for a truly nutritious and delicious sandwich. Such a sandwich is loaded with protein, carbohydrates and has a minimum amount of fat. Deli style sandwiches are now commonly available at fast food chain names that serve airports.

Another great airport food option that can be combined with a salad is a pasta meal. Pasta dishes that are served with sauce and various meats or seafood are usually available at casual airport restaurants. Such a pasta meal is rich carbohydrates and protein, which will give passengers plenty of energy for a long flight. A pasta meal will not upset the stomach, so passengers don’t have to worry about rushing to the restroom or dealing with digestion problems during a flight.

Although it’s a tempting option, a classic meal featuring a burger and fries is a poor option at the airport. Beef burgers, especially when combined with cheese, are part of a very “heavy” meal that is loaded with fat and can cause digestive problems such as heartburn. Additionally, flying at high altitudes after eating a loaded burger can cause nausea.

When it comes to selecting healthy beverages at the airport, passengers should follow several guidelines. First of all, soda drinks are loaded with sugars and carbohydrates that will give a hyperactive energy boost and prevent passengers from resting on a flight. Additionally, sofa drinks can actually cause dehydration. Drinking plenty of water is the best option for staying hydrated at the airport before a flight. Bottled water is sold at most food courts, vending machines and other parts of the airport. Additionally, passengers can fill up empty water bottles from the fountains beyond the airport security gates. Having a glass of fine wine at a bar or restaurant is also a healthy drink option at the airport.

Avoid excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages & caffeine containing energy drinks as these can add to your dehydration. Dehydration can cause increased problems with motion sickness and altitude transition etc… Your body’s natural adrenalin from the excitement of travel is probably all the stimulant you need.

Doing a little research can go a long way when you are traveling. Look up the vendors and restaurants that are in the airport as well as the city beforehand. This will ensure that you know exactly what is available. You never know when you are going to get stuck in a city over night so it is important to know your surroundings. I recently had an overnight layover in Boston and fortunately, I was able to do some quick research with the help of some consumer reviews. I found a great site that listed Boston hotels and restaurants in the area that helped me get out of panic mode quick. I even caught a Red Sox game that night!

Passengers that plan on waiting at the airport for hours should enjoy some healthy snacks before boarding their flight. Fresh fruit are readily available at some of the snack bars in airport food courts. Bananas and oranges offer plenty of vitamins and energy that is useful for busy airport passengers. Low fat bagged potato chips also make great snacks while waiting at the airport.

Everything in moderation, by eating light & balanced foods while you travel, you will be on your way to a relaxing trip.

Of course it never hurts to take a few digestive enzymes along: Gastro for the occasional GI upset

This article written by Cole Millen with some collaborative input from Mary Howard RN


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