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Airlines With the Healthiest Food

5 Airlines That Offer Healthy Food Fare

airplane foodWhen you are purchasing a flight, do you have a favorite airline that you always book with? Or do you just go for the best deal? And what makes you have an airline preference — the service, the extra leg room, or maybe it's the amazing snacks and meals? For me, if the airline has awesome service, great in-flight entertainment, and other perks, it tends to have delicious food as well.

Last year, the Diet Detective conducted an Airline Food Survey, which rated how healthy the food is aboard the top US airlines. After examining the economy class menus of several airlines' domestic flights and taking into consideration the Diet Detective's results — not to mention some of my own personal biases — here are the top five airlines that I think are serving up the healthiest snacks and meals.

  1. Virgin America: I know we're talking about food here, but let me start off by saying that Virgin has an impressive line-up of libations to help take the edge off while up in the sky. OK, back to the food. Where do I begin? For starters, or snacks, I should say, Virgin serves up granola; low-fat yogurt; a selection of cheeses with grapes, dried fruits, nuts, and crostini crackers; vegetarian cobb salads; and Umpqua oatmeal. Yes, they still offer some fat-filled options like Texas bbq sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, but all in all, they make eating healthier that much easier for the frequent flier.
  2. United Airlines: I have to admit that other airline menus pale in comparison to Virgin, but at least they are trying, right? If you don't let your sweet tooth do the ordering, with United you can get some bananas, low-cal Pop Chips, warm mixed nuts, or a Clif organic energy bar to snack on. And for meal options, try an entrée salad or a bowl of soup that comes with a breadstick.
  3. JetBlue: Fly with JetBlue and you can choose from yummy snacks like Terra Blues chips and roasted cashews. And because they serve up a "Shape Up" kosher snack pack for $6 that comes with Wild Garden sundried tomato hummus, pita chips, Sheffa's zesty snack mix, almonds, raisins, and Brothers All Natural Asian Pear Fruit Crisps, they get a big thumbs up from me. This certainly takes the guess work out of ordering!
  4. Delta Airlines: Delta's in-flight menu runs the gamut in terms of options. Health-conscious individuals will love the Kind Fruit and Nut Delight Bars, Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips, Wild Garden Hummus, dried apricots, almonds, and yogurt. It's all about the options!
  5. American Airlines: This airline is similar to Delta in that it has the best of the best and the worst of the worst in terms of food selection. My advice would be to steer clear of the breakfast café croissant sandwich that includes roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, mayo, and pita chips on the side, and stick with their almonds, trail mix, a fruit and nut blend, or get a cheese and cracker tray. By the looks of the menu, the first classers get to have all the food option fun.

Source: Flickr User Gill Bland

Gado-Gado-Gal Gado-Gado-Gal 6 years
Singapore and South African Airlines have most delicious foods in any class, but United is also a winner for the sheer variety of alternative menu options - gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, religious, you-name-it. Try the Indian vegetarian for a healthy option with lovely almond-based sweet treats. Bringing your own herbal teas is a good idea no matter what airline you fly.
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 6 years
I never order food on domestic flights either - the prices are absurd for the quality food you get, but this is my first international flight and I think the food is included in the flight cost... hopefully there will be a healthy option, but will definitely pack some home made trail mix JIC! Great tip about the oatmeal btw :)
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 6 years
Turkish Air & Cathay Pacific had AWESOME food when I flew on them! :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I was pretty impressed with China Airlines vegetarian fare. Of course I was eating it in a unisom-grog, so maybe it's not a great as I was imagining.
SaraNoH SaraNoH 6 years
that is such a smart idea to bring your own oatmeal and have the flight attendants give you hot water! Never thought of that one :) I fly a TON (American Airlines) and usually bring my own snacks anyways... I agree air-food is waaaaay too expensive. But AA does have a pretty decent dinner on international flights... :)
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
@bjeanne18: Most airlines let you order special meals ahead of time. I think most options are things like strict Kosher, strict vegetarian/vegan, etc., but some airlines do offer a low-calorie option. You might want to have a look at the website. For domestic flights, I pack food to go with me. I refuse to pay 3-4x the price for something on a plane! I'm with Anonymous on this one...
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 6 years
I am taking an over seas trip on US Airways at the end of the month - any clue if they will have healthy options?
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