This Is Exactly What a Nutritionist Eats on an Airplane (and What She Avoids)

Updated 03/03/17

Air travel is the ultimate test for those who swear by a clean and healthy diet, both at the airport and aboard the plane. And with peak travel season just around the corner, we've definitely got travel nutrition on the brain.

While the many unhealthy options on the in-flight menu may be hard to resist, Karen Ansel, nutritionist and author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging, has some better ideas—namely, ditching plane food and bringing your own. "A turkey or peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, plus an apple," is one of the healthiest, easiest, most portable meals you can prepare before a flight. "Plus, it will keep you full for hours," she told INSIDER.

If you'd rather skip the effort of packing ahead of time, Ansel relies on this simple recipe for preparing healthy snacks on the fly: "[Put] together a healthier piecemeal by buying a banana, a container of Greek yogurt, and a grain and nut-based snack bar like Kashi Chewy Nut Butter Bars" after passing through security at the airport. Violà! You have a makeshift parfait that's actually healthy.

If worst comes to worst and you absolutely have to order from the in-flight menu, order a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread and pile on the veggies. Skip the condiments, which are an unassuming source of extra fat and calories, and stick to the mustard, olive oil, and vinegar. Most important, drink plenty of water and pass on the alcohol. "When you’re flying dehydration is a real problem," she explains. "Water is ideal, but other than alcohol [which dehydrates] just about any other fluid is fine."

What's your go-to in-flight meal? Share your thoughts with us below!

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