It's hard to stick to a healthy diet while traveling. Airplane and airport food options are not known for being particularly healthful. Now a new study has ranked the meals of all U.S. airlines, and its researchers say the most unhealthy food in the skies is on Hawaiian Airlines.
Every year, Diet Detective publishes an analysis of the nutritional content of meals on U.S. airlines. Study author Charles Platkin, Ph.D., editor of Diet Detective and director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, reviewed the menus of the different U.S. airlines and says that for 2017, Hawaiian Airlines' meals were the most unhealthful of all.
The meals on Hawaiian Airlines contain an average of 971 calories, according to estimates by Diet Detective's nutritionists. In contrast, the most healthful in-flight meals were served by Delta, which is actually bringing back free in-flight meals, and Virgin America. Delta serves an average of 480 calories per meal, including snacks. Virgin America's meals average 340 calories each.
Hawaiian Airlines' meals vary by seat section and destination, but according to its website, its main cabin options for travel to and from North America include a warmed turkey pastrami sandwich with arugula and swiss cheese, or a chicken teriyaki sandwich with caramelized onions. Passengers traveling in First Class get an even more indulgent spread, of course.
Platkin recommends health-conscious passengers bring an apple or clementine on the plane and forgo the airline's in-flight snacks entirely. That might also be a good idea for anybody traveling on one of the 8 worst airlines for food.