An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests that if you want to eat healthy food on an airplane… bring your own. If you can’t do that, here are your healthiest options:
United – Rated the healthiest airline by DietDetective.com, United offers a good variety. The “Rightbite” or “Smartpack” snack boxes might be your best bet. Especially the Smartpack, which is full of all-natural or organic munchies with no trans-fats. Price: $6.
U.S. Airways – Avoid the carbohydrate-packed In-Flight Cafe Snack Box, with its sugar cookies and grape jelly. Go for something more substantial, like the turkey-ham on molasses bread. The mayo is on the side, and it comes with a cup of yogurt. Price: $7.
Midwest Airlines – Steer clear of the complimentary baked-on-board cookies, delicious but high in calories (240 calories for two). Choose the cranberry nut mix, which has just enough protein and fiber to keep you satisfied, or Newman’s Own organic dried fruit. Price: $4.
Delta – Formerly serving up some of the least healthy airline food, Delta seems to have turned over a new leaf. Now, on flights longer than about two and a half hours, you can select from healthier meal and snack options – e.g., yogurt with fresh fruit and granola for breakfast ($3) or hummus with veggies for lunch ($8).
JetBlue – Snacks are included in the ticket price on JetBlue, and you can ask for as many as you want… so the biggest health risk here is eating too many. Try to stick with one package of peanuts or animal crackers.
QUICK TIP: Ask your reservations agent about special meals. Vegetarian, kosher, and Muslim meals, for example, are often lower in fats and high in whole grains and beans. Continental and United also offer low-fat and low-calorie meals.
[Ed. Note: Which airline, in your experience, has the best food? Let us know here.]