What’s the best food to eat when fly­ing?

The Bay Chronicle - - YOUR HEALTH - Q: Do you have any tips for eat­ing well on aero­planes? Re­gards, Doug A: Q: How many eggs can I eat per week? Kind­est, Ju­dith A: Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended t

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, Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

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.

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.

On long-haul flights try to opt for light meals with a high veg­etable con­tent.

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