Healthier Airport Food
Your best food choices when you're stuck at the airport.
Healthy Traveler Rule No. 2: Know the Healthier Airport Options continued...
Breakfast and Bagel Shop. It's easy to buy a bagel to bring on the
plane with you for breakfast or lunch. A whole-wheat bagel has about 4 grams of
fiber, and can be a great choice if you fill it with something light. Try light
cream cheese, or turkey breast with veggies and a little avocado. If your
stomach is sensitive on travel days, you might even feel better chewing on a
If you want a traditional breakfast, skip the fried potatoes and sausage and
choose an egg entrée that is topped or filled with vegetables, not greasy meat.
Ask if they can make your egg dish with egg substitute, or one whole egg and
two egg whites. If it comes with cheese, ask them to use half the usual amount.
If you're partial to pancakes or waffles, don’t drench them with butter or
syrup, since most restaurant pancakes/waffles are already pretty rich. Top them
with fresh fruit instead.
Healthy Traveler Rule No. 3: Know What to Avoid
"Fried foods are not great unless you want to sleep the entire trip with
a belly full of fat," warns Gerbstadt.
It’s important to drink wisely, too. Too much caffeine can promote
dehydration, Gerbstadt says. If you must have coffee, Gerbstadt suggests
indulging in one cup only, with skim, low-fat or soy milk added.
And the last thing anyone wants when traveling is a case of food poisoning.
Gerbstadt warns that any food that requires refrigeration -- like meat, cheese,
milk, or foods that contain any of these ingredients -- should be eaten within
two hours without refrigeration.
Healthy Traveler Rule No. 4: Soothe Your Stomach
If you tend to get stomach upset while flying, avoid beverages that are
known to irritate the stomach (like coffee, alcohol, and orange juice). Ask for
drinks that seem to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, like club soda or herb
"Keeping well-hydrated during travel is essential to enduring the rigors
of travel," says Anthony Starpoli, MD, an attending physician in
gastroenterology at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan.
Starpoli also recommends avoiding fried, greasy, rich, or processed food
items. That's because fatty foods in general keep food in the stomach longer
and can trigger acid reflux or GERD by weakening the lower esophageal sphincter
If you want to bring along some foods that will help settle your stomach
before or during the flight, Starpoli suggests packing crackers, cheese,
vegetable sticks, or some fruit. And you can buy a carton of yogurt at the
airport, if you like.
"Some yogurt is not a bad idea, unless lactose is an issue,"