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Airline Food’s Scary Side Effects

Another reason to avoid eating it

Waiting to EatWaiting to EatAirline food is usually the first meal of my vacation. Too bad, because that sky-high combo of fat and sugar could last longer (and cost me a whole lot more than) than my tan.

A Time article shows that after just one meal high in fat and sugar (or other carbs) your body gets sick. Suddenly. Your blood pressure, insulin levels, and stress responses all go into disarray, similar to someone fighting a life-threatening disease.

Luckily, the findings work both ways. Healthy meals rev your body up, making it way more efficient.

But it can be challenging to find healthy grub when you're traveling. Consider packing your lunch or tweaking your selections to make sure you're giving your body a fighting chance.

I'm usually still too worried about forgetting something to pack my lunch, so I usually choose from the in-flight selection. For the major airlines, check out DietDetective.com. Their annual survey ranks the airlines' healthiest choices, but be prepared: airplanes sell out of their healthiest picks early.

In general if you cut your fatty foods by half and limit your starches, you can turn a nutritional nightmare into a healthy(ish) meal. Need some tips on how to do that?

  • Wraps are better than bagels. They're filling and have less carbs, which balances your body's nutrients. Pull off the cheese and you've cut the fat.
  • Onboard snack boxes are enough for a meal. Split one with a friend, or put back half the salty nuts and treats. Don't forget to eat your fruit. It may not be the freshest you've ever had, but it's good for you.
  • Airlines have lots of "special" meals, so requesting a vegetarian or diabetic meal a day in advance can save you calories and fix the taste problem. But never expect airline food to be as healthy as homemade.

If you still feel like gnawing off your fingertips, club soda with lime will hydrate you without the caffeine rush. And although the salt's no good on those nuts, your body will enjoy the protein.

Do you have any healthy eating tips while traveling?

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