What’s the best food to eat when flying?
Q: Do you have any tips for eating well on aeroplanes? Regards, Doug
A:It is possible to eat well on aeroplanes, but it can take some planning. On domestic flights, which tend to be quite short, it can be a good idea to eat a nourishing meal before you fly, so that you don’t have to eat on the plane. When we’re up in the air, our sensitivity to sweet and salty foods is actually diminished, so meals and snacks that are offered to us in-flight usually have more sugar or salt added to keep our taste buds happy. I usually research nourishing food options at my destination, so that I know where to go to eat once I’ve arrived.
If you’re concerned about getting hungry during the flight, try taking a small bag of nuts in your carry-on bag. The nourishing fats in the nuts will help to keep you feeling satisfied and your energy levels stable until you get to your destination. However, it’s important to avoid mindless snacking as this can happen very easily on a plane, particularly if you’re feeling bored or anxious, or if you are engrossed in a movie.
If you’re travelling internationally some people will be hungry to eat a meal during the flight. You can usually find out in advance what your options will be and can order a special meal if needed. Try to opt for light meals with a high vegetable content. It’s also a good idea to bring some of your own snacks so that you don’t have to rely on what is offered. Some good options include bliss balls made from nuts, seeds and a few fresh dates, a packet of nuts, a piece of fresh fruit or some vege sticks. Obviously be sure to not take what you pack into your country of destination. I also like to take some herbal tea bags as well as an organic green vegetable powder that I can mix with water to help boost my vegetable and nutrient intake.
While flying, I cannot encourage you enough to simply eat when you are hungry and turn down any other meals you are offered. More often than not you will be offered far more food than is needed, and as flying dehydrates us, sometimes we can feel hungry when we are actually thirsty. It’s important to stay hydrated so drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol – these can dehydrate you further and can make it more difficult to get quality rest on the plane. Q: How many eggs can I eat per week? Kindest, Judith
A: Whole eggs are very nutritious. They contain highquality protein, nourishing fats, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron, zinc, selenium and lutein, a carotenoid that supports eye health. They also contain cholesterol. Cholesterol isn’t ‘‘bad’’ – it plays many essential (yes, essential!) roles in the body, but historically there was concern that dietary cholesterol would increase blood cholesterol levels. We now know that the cholesterol in the foods we eat actually has very little impact on our blood levels.
There isn’t a specific number of eggs per week that I recommend – it depends on what nourishes you. However, as a very general guide, I would suggest a maximum of one eggbased meal per day, as more than this may begin to impact on the variety of foods that you eat. Enjoying a wide variety of real, whole foods is essential to ensure you are getting a balanced spread of nutrients each day. ❚ Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. See Dr Libby live during her upcoming ‘What Am I Supposed To Eat?’ tour throughout New Zealand. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit drlibby.com
On long-haul flights try to opt for light meals with a high vegetable content.