Traveling can sometimes throw a wrench into our healthiest of eating habits. With long layovers, delays, and the need for quick bites, airports aren't always conducive to maintaining a balanced diet. But with just a little bit of planning and some conscious decisions, you can maintain your healthy eating habits while traveling. Here is your guide to eating healthy at airports.
Understanding the Challenge
Airports are loaded with fast-food joints and indulgence items like candy, chips, and caffeinated beverages. This, along with the stress and exhaustion often associated with traveling, can make it quite challenging to stick to a balanced diet.
Before you travel, research the airport's dining options. Many airport websites provide information on their restaurants and cafes, allowing you to plan your meals ahead of time. Try to identify establishments that offer salads, lean proteins, whole grains, and the like.
Hydration is Key
Air travel is known to cause dehydration. While sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages can be tempting, water is the best way to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water before your flight, and consider bringing a refillable bottle to fill up once you pass security.
Pack Your Snacks
Packing your own snacks can be a real game-changer when it comes to eating healthy at airports. Think raw nuts, fresh or dried fruit, whole grain crackers, and protein bars. These snacks are not only nourishing but also easy to pack and eat on the go.
Opt for Balanced Meals
If you're going to eat at an airport restaurant, opt for balanced meals that offer a good mix of lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. A grilled chicken salad or a turkey and avocado wrap, for instance, are better choices than a burger and fries.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
Unlike regular dining, airport eateries often serve larger portions. Beware of this and avoid the trap. Try sharing a meal with your travel buddy or take half to go for later.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol
While a pre-flight drink may be tempting, keep in mind that alcohol can dehydrate you, adding to the drying effects of the cabin air. If you do indulge, match your alcoholic beverages with an equal amount of water.
Choose Fresh Over Processed Items
Airport restaurants aren't limited to fast food. Many modern airports offer fresh, locally-sourced meals. Remember, the fresher the food, the better it is for your health.
Opt for Plant-Based Options
Vegan and vegetarian options often pack in more fiber and less saturated fat, making them a healthier option. If you're not strictly following a plant-based diet, trying a vegan dish could be a nice, healthy change of pace.
While not directly related to nutrition, staying active through walking or stretching can aid digestion and overall well-being. Most airports are large spaces, and walking can be a great way to pass time.
After You Land
Remember, one meal doesn't ruin a diet, and you've got to give yourself some slack when traveling. Once you reach your destination, aim to get back into your usual eating routine as soon as possible.
With today's increasing demand for healthier options, airports are slowly broadening their food selections. So next time you're about to take to the skies, remember these tips and you'll find that eating healthy, even at an airport, is doable after all.
In conclusion, healthy eating in airports boils down to smart choices, portion control, and hydration. Let your journey be an adventure, right from the airport.Bon voyage and bon appetit.