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5 Airport Snacks that Won’t Pack on the Pounds

Will Owen
by Will Owen
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5 Airport Snacks that Won’t Pack on the Pounds

Travel Strong LogoAirports have always been notoriously unhealthy. It used to be the case that no matter how hard you looked, there just weren’t any healthy options available. But they are getting better. People are increasingly demanding healthier options, and the food chains that dominate airports are beginning to listen.

It’s always a good idea to pack some healthy snacks in advance, but if you’re rushing to catch a flight, here are some airport snacks that won’t pack on the pounds.

1. Fruit Although you may not be able to find some of the more exotic fruits, you usually won’t have any difficulty picking up an apple, orange, or a banana before heading to your gate. Fruit is packed with important nutrients and fiber, and contains fewer calories than just about anything else you’ll find in an airport.

2. Ready-made salads Even the most infamously unhealthy food chains now offer salads on their menus. That means it’s not too difficult to pick one up in the terminal. But not all salads are created equal. Here’s what to avoid:

  • Cheese Many cheeses contain a good dose of healthy fats, but the varieties used by fast food chains often contain highly processed trans fats. These man-made fats are linked to obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
  • High-calorie dressings If you’re counting calories, you’re probably already aware that most of the calories found in a salad come from the dressing. This is especially true of mayonnaise-based or creamy dressing. If you’re not sure what’s in it, it’s best to avoid it altogether!

3. Oatmeal Fortunately, oatmeal has become a staple on the menus of many airport food outlets serving breakfast.Thanks to all the fiber it contains,oatmeal is one of the most satiating (fancy word for filling) snacks you can pick up. And best of all: it’s low in calories and incredibly healthy. There’s evidence to suggest that regularly eating oatmeal can help stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and boost the immune system.

Oatmeal is one of my personal favorites, but some people find it to be bland. If that’s the case for you, try picking up some fruit or a little touch honey to sweeten it up a bit. Whenever possible, opt for protein-rich steel-cut oatmeal, which will help keep you full for longer.

4. Yogurt Although nutritional profiles vary from brand to brand, yogurt is one of the best on-the-go snacks out there. In general, the healthiest options are all-natural and Greek yogurts. They are typically free of artificial flavorings, and contain protein, a whole host of vitamins and minerals, and probiotics that will help you maintain healthy digestive and immune systems. Yogurt is available in most food chains, and there now even cafes and bars solely dedicated to yogurt, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty grabbing a cup before your flight.

5. Hummus Hummus is a simple dip typically made from all-natural ingredients, including chickpeas, sesame seeds (tahini), garlic, lemon, and olive oil. It’s packed with fibre, protein, iron, calcium, and lots of vitamins. You can eat it on its own, but hummus is usually sold with some sort of accompaniment. Carrot sticks or any other kind of veg are great for dipping, and they’re a super-healthy alternative to cutlery! 

What are your go-to snacks when you travel? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Will Owen
Will Owen

Will Owen is known for helping every one from backpackers to businessmen stay healthy on the road. He has been featured on a number of websites as an expert bridging the gap between travel and fitness. You can stay up to date with him by visiting Travel Strong, or following him on Google+ or Twitter.

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51 responses to “5 Airport Snacks that Won’t Pack on the Pounds”

  1. Avatar Jessica L Spindler says:

    I love hummus!! I eat it with carrot chips, crackers, cucumber, Stacy’s Pita chips, or with a spoon!

  2. Avatar Jessica L Spindler says:

    I love hummus!! I eat it with carrot chips, crackers, cucumber, Stacy’s Pita chips, or with a spoon!

  3. Avatar Cushman says:

    I just pack my own healthy snacks when I travel… saves on bad food, calories and money!

  4. Avatar Cushman says:

    I just pack my own healthy snacks when I travel… saves on bad food, calories and money!

  5. Avatar Cushman says:

    Actually I just got back from traveling – I brought baked plantains, wasabi peas, string cheese sticks, some whole fresh fruit, dark chocolate covered edamame, inner peas, a handful of spirulina energy bars, some air popped pop corn, a couple of bags of turkey jerky…

  6. Avatar Cushman says:

    Actually I just got back from traveling – I brought baked plantains, wasabi peas, string cheese sticks, some whole fresh fruit, dark chocolate covered edamame, inner peas, a handful of spirulina energy bars, some air popped pop corn, a couple of bags of turkey jerky…

  7. Avatar Lou Ann Mallon says:

    Raw almonds, Raw almonds mixed with some dried cherries or dried pineapple, KIND bars!

  8. Avatar Lou Ann Mallon says:

    Raw almonds, Raw almonds mixed with some dried cherries or dried pineapple, KIND bars!

  9. Avatar Lou Ann Mallon says:

    Raw almonds, Raw almonds mixed with some dried cherries or dried pineapple, KIND bars!

  10. Avatar Lou Ann Mallon says:

    Raw almonds, Raw almonds mixed with some dried cherries or dried pineapple, KIND bars!

  11. Avatar Megan Manson says:

    Almonds

  12. Avatar Megan Manson says:

    Almonds

  13. Avatar Megan Manson says:

    Almonds

  14. Avatar ajh1014 says:

    I always bring an empty water bottle through security. There are plenty of drinking fountains to fill them up and it save you from spending the big bucks once you get on the concourse!

  15. Avatar Tess Simpson says:

    Very timely, thanks!

  16. Avatar Tess Simpson says:

    Very timely, thanks!

  17. Avatar Tess Simpson says:

    Very timely, thanks!

  18. Avatar Erin Fearns says:

    fantastic! I leave in 5 days for a 4,000 mile trip to Alaska! I was wondering this exact thing! Perfect timing. 🙂

  19. Avatar Erin Fearns says:

    fantastic! I leave in 5 days for a 4,000 mile trip to Alaska! I was wondering this exact thing! Perfect timing. 🙂

  20. Avatar Erin Fearns says:

    fantastic! I leave in 5 days for a 4,000 mile trip to Alaska! I was wondering this exact thing! Perfect timing. 🙂

  21. Avatar Erin Fearns says:

    fantastic! I leave in 5 days for a 4,000 mile trip to Alaska! I was wondering this exact thing! Perfect timing. 🙂

  22. Avatar Erin Fearns says:

    fantastic! I leave in 5 days for a 4,000 mile trip to Alaska! I was wondering this exact thing! Perfect timing. 🙂

  23. Avatar nicol says:

    green peas:)

  24. Avatar nicol says:

    green peas:)

  25. Avatar Annapolis2 says:

    I never eat yogurt in the airport because I can never find unsweetened yogurt. Honestly, if you’re going to eat sugared yogurt, just go ahead and eat a candy bar instead.

    I agree 100% with oatmeal though! I’m so glad that it’s becoming widely available.

  26. Avatar Annapolis2 says:

    I never eat yogurt in the airport because I can never find unsweetened yogurt. Honestly, if you’re going to eat sugared yogurt, just go ahead and eat a candy bar instead.

    I agree 100% with oatmeal though! I’m so glad that it’s becoming widely available.

  27. Avatar Sarah says:

    My go to travel savers: Empty water bottle, raw & unsalted almonds with dried fruit, Quest bars, 1.5 oz beef jerkey packages, kale chips, Southwest’s peanuts, there’s usually a starbucks with the chicken and hummus snack pack or oatmeal (with the lovely dried fruit and nut packages). If you must frequent a fast food joint, get the grilled chicken and throw away the buns and ask for extra lettuce to make it protein style (worst case, McD’s chicken mcNuggests without the breading, no sauce and make it a happy meal with sliced apple and milk/water.)

  28. Avatar IslandPearl says:

    Just caught up to this on twitter. I rely on 100-calorie packs of raw almonds or almond/walnuts. The nutritive value outweighs the fat, and the packaging provides portion control. I also carry 100 (or less!) calorie packs of olives. Mario has both kalamata and manzanilla olives and they satisfy my salt cravings without piling on carbs. I log around 150,000 airmiles a year, between work and fun, and the welcome appearance of fresh fruit, oatmeal and crudite at airport fooderies is a life saver…literally!!

  29. Avatar IslandPearl says:

    Just caught up to this on twitter. I rely on 100-calorie packs of raw almonds or almond/walnuts. The nutritive value outweighs the fat, and the packaging provides portion control. I also carry 100 (or less!) calorie packs of olives. Mario has both kalamata and manzanilla olives and they satisfy my salt cravings without piling on carbs. I log around 150,000 airmiles a year, between work and fun, and the welcome appearance of fresh fruit, oatmeal and crudite at airport fooderies is a life saver…literally!!

  30. Avatar IslandPearl says:

    Just caught up to this on twitter. I rely on 100-calorie packs of raw almonds or almond/walnuts. The nutritive value outweighs the fat, and the packaging provides portion control. I also carry 100 (or less!) calorie packs of olives. Mario has both kalamata and manzanilla olives and they satisfy my salt cravings without piling on carbs. I log around 150,000 airmiles a year, between work and fun, and the welcome appearance of fresh fruit, oatmeal and crudite at airport fooderies is a life saver…literally!!

  31. Avatar IslandPearl says:

    Just caught up to this on twitter. I rely on 100-calorie packs of raw almonds or almond/walnuts. The nutritive value outweighs the fat, and the packaging provides portion control. I also carry 100 (or less!) calorie packs of olives. Mario has both kalamata and manzanilla olives and they satisfy my salt cravings without piling on carbs. I log around 150,000 airmiles a year, between work and fun, and the welcome appearance of fresh fruit, oatmeal and crudite at airport fooderies is a life saver…literally!!

  32. Avatar Impytraveller says:

    Great tips! Love oatmeal…and agave is another option for sweetening. It is getting easier to find healthier options at airports. Bringing our own fresh fruit when we fly from CA to the US is not an option going through customs. So we have to buy at the airport. Dried fruit is OK though and I usually bring almonds or walnuts too. I hope the airlines will also continue to work towards offering healthy options (on board) for people who maybe don’t have to time to purchase something before boarding the plane.

  33. Avatar Kat says:

    You can’t take your own snacks through security though, can you?

    • Avatar Sam says:

      Actually you can, as long as it’s solid food and not liquid. They once made me throw out a jar of apple butter because they said it was a liquid, but I’ve brought all kinds of other food through security.

  34. Avatar pc says:

    babybel cheeses which you can carry and dont have to refrigerate and a packet of raw almonds. I always take these through security. Hard boiled eggs are great too for breakfast as the ariline breakfasts are generally all sugar

  35. Avatar marlaa says:

    Marlaa is my name

    Hi i am only 18 years old. In july 1 2014 i started my new healthy life i used to wight 208lb now today 170lb i am 33% muscle but my problem now is my 28% fat. I went from 48% to 28%. I now want to lose about 25 pounds in 42 days but i cant i want to be 140-150 pounds can anyone help? I really need help.

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