What's in That Airline Meal, Anyway?
These days, frequent fliers may have more to worry about than airport delays and increased security—especially if they eat meals in the coach section. Two physicians recently analyzed one of those boxed lunches served to coach class passengers and found it sorely lacking in nutritional content.
The lunch analyzed was small, containing only 9 ounces of food, but those Fritos corn chips and two Eli’s cookies plus that pressed turkey and pastrami sandwich with American cheese and Hellmann’s Dijonnaise dressing packed a wallop. This typical airline lunch contained 950 calories and a whopping 52 grams (g) of fat, including 24 g of dangerous saturated and trans fats! That’s 79 percent of the recommended daily allotment of fat (based on a 2,000- calorie diet)! Plus, there was no trace of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains or nuts anywhere in the meal. Vitamins and minerals were also in scant supply.
While not going so far as to advise against flying, the authors did say that frequent fliers who eat a steady diet of such high-calorie, fatty meals are at increased risk for obesity. Writing in the September 2 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the authors recommended that “airline passengers pack their own low-calorie, higher-nutrient meals before flying. We believe that almost any lunch brought from home will allow you to fasten your seat belt.”
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