Airports 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!