“Can you please spread out your arms!”
You reluctantly proceed to comply to the TSA agent’s request.
As the agent pats you down, you start to feel a rumble in your stomach.
“Hmmm I got about 30 mins before they start boarding for my flight, maybe I should get something to snack on?”
It sounds like a good idea because you have a two hour flight ahead of you. If memory serves you right, this short flight will not offer any snacks.
Is it worth waiting over four hours for your next meal?
It’s already been two hours since your last meal. A preflight snack sounds like a great idea.
The TSA agent is done inspecting you. You pick up your carry on luggage and head towards your gate.
You decided that all you need is just one simple snack. Something light and easy that you can easily take on the plane.
There’s no need for you to buy a full meal so you bypass the restaurants. Then that’s when you see it.
The classic airport convenience store.
You look at your watch and realize that you only have five minutes to make a good choice.
So what will you choose?
Its at this point hopefully that you remember this particular article from Mr. Travel Fitness!
I’m here to tell you which healthy snacks you should grab as you board your plane.
Ready? Let’s go!
Healthy Airport Snack Shopping
When choosing a healthy snack, you want to stick to some basic healthy eating rules.
To build a better body you want to emphasize protein and than balance out carbohydrates and fats for energy.
In a perfect world, when one is up (carbs or fat) the other energy macronutrient should be lowered.
Avoid sweet & salty combination
When you walk into that store, I guarantee you that the best selling items from that store (outside of water) will be something that’s sweet or salty.
Just take a step back and look at all the colors you see.
There’s a reason for all those colors!
Those colors get people’s attention and causes travelers to buy them. The more colorful the package, the greater chance of that food being unhealthy.
Avoid those colors! Focus on food quality!
When you eat salty and sweet, nothing good comes out of it. All the foods that create obesity are salty and sweet.
It’s very hard for our taste buds to handle that combination.
Foods that are salty and/or sweet trick our minds into thinking that we MUST EAT MORE!
That’s not what we want when living the healthy traveling lifestyle!
Top Snacks From The Convenience Store
Purchase nuts that are as close to their natural state as possible!
Anything covered in chocolate, sugar and salt is a big no-no!
There are a few (very few) exceptions to the rule, but try your best to stay with natural nuts.
Good choices are:
Avoid trail mixes!
Trail mixes are clever ways to disguise sugar with the perception that it’s healthy. They easily will sneak some calories in your system.
Trail mixes are good for hiking because you’re burning calories and might need the energy burst because it travels well.
In your case you will be on a plane sitting down. No major calorie burning will be going on during your flight.
When eating nuts just be careful not to go overboard. Nuts are very calorie dense.
Outside of nuts the next best airplane travel food is jerky. Whether you pick beef, turkey, chicken or pork, it’s all good.
Just like nuts, you want to avoid the sweet and sugar combination. That’s how they get you!
The teriyaki or hot & sweet spicy flavors typically contain too much fat and sugar. The reason you’re eating jerky is because of its higher protein profile.
Here’s a good example of jerky with lots of protein:
Here’s a jerky that’s not as ideal:
It can be hard to find the first example. Just do your best.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that a serving of jerky should never contain more grams of sugar than it does grams of protein.
I was almost reluctant to put this on here.
Mainly because there’s too many protein bars disguising themselves as protein bars when in reality they’re glorified candy bars.
Look at the info for a Snickers candy bar:
I’m sure you’ll find protein bars with less protein than that snickers bar inside airport convenience stores.
If a candy bar has a better protein to fats/carbs ratio then a protein bar, then you need to drop that particular brand of protein bars!
There are some brands out there that will actually make an effort to be healthy.
Just don’t be fooled by the “net carbs” on some brand’s packages. They try to trick you in thinking that the carbs is not as high as it is.
Most protein bars have sugar alcohol in addition to sugar. It’s rare to find protein bars without sugar or sugar alcohol.
Remember that this post is all about eating healthier snack options from an airport for your flight.
If I had to choice between a bag of chips and a protein bar with sugar alcohol in it….I’m choosing the protein bar.
It’s all about making the best decision with the resources you go.
High Quality Airport Convenience Stores
If you happen to run into an airport convenience store that sells high quality fresh foods here’s some excellent food selections:
Go for the salads with lots of protein and a good mixture of veggies (in addition to the default iceberg lettuce).
Just use a tablespoon or less of salad dressing on your salad.
Perfect combination of Protein plus fat. This will leave you satisfied and full.
This snack is meant to hold you over until you get to your destination so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just a single piece of fruit.
Ideally you would love to have some protein with it, but eating fruit by itself is better than eating a bag of chips.
Just make sure you get real fruit! We want fruit in it’s natural state to work it’s magic.
Dried fruit is nothing but sugar with most of it’s nutrients gone.
When eating too much dried fruit, you’ll most likely end up asking yourself the classic questions that all sugar addicts ask themselves.
Stick to eating real fruit!
Next time you’re in a hurry at the airport, remember these snack foods so you can avoid falling into the unhealthy traveler eating trap.
Stay safe out there!