Health tips for traveling abroad

Photo courtesy of Marek Slusarczyk

A McDonald’s in an airport common area. When traveling, healthy food options may be more difficult to find.

By Jamie Weissman

Walking through an airport on any given day, it’s easy to find food loaded with sugar and fats at your disposal, but while some choose to adopt the theory that calories don’t count on vacation, there are many ways to travel light.

Perhaps one of the most common snacks travelers associate with airports is the wide selection of nuts and trail mix. Whether you get them for free on the plane or in the terminal’s gift store, trail mix is not hard to find, but availability does not always make them the best choice.

“I always recommend nuts, but be careful because many of them are candied in airports,” sophomore dietetics major Laura Silver said. “Some advice for trail mix: they definitely can be healthy but very often are not.”

Although nuts and trail mix may not always be the healthiest option, when chosen correctly, besthealthmag.ca suggests pairing string cheese, nuts, and fruit for a healthy airport snack filled with protein and fiber.

“If you’re hungry, protein helps you stay less hungry,”  junior dietetics major Ricki Lander said. “Instead of chips you can have an apple with peanut butter.”

Besthealthmag.ca’s “4 Healthy Airport Snacks” agreed.

“The key is to avoid being hungry, and when you do eat, you should be consuming nutrient-dense calories, since you’re not very active sitting on a plane, especially on long flights,” according to Best Health Magazine.

But if nuts and fruit are not for you, travelers still have other protein-filled options to get them through.

“Look for yogurts, but once again check that they’re not overloaded with sugar,” Silver said. “More than 10 grams of sugar is a lot in my mind.”

Although it may appear that your options are limited, according to usatoday.com’s “10 Healthy Snacks You Can Buy At The Airport”, travelers do not have to forgo baked goods and sandwiches. That is, if they make the right decisions.

“If you’re going the baked-goods route, look for low-fat, whole-grain choices,” according to USA Today. “ Choose the right sandwich and you’ll have a healthy treat. Skip mayonnaise-heavy fillings like tuna or chicken salad, and bulk up a sandwich with plenty of fresh veggies instead of cheese or bacon.”

Although eating well and traveling can be a difficult mix to obtain, creating healthy habits are key.

“Learn to read a nutrition label well,” Silver said. “The best advice is to do lots of meal prep beforehand and bring your own healthy food.”

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