This post was originally published on Healthy Way to Cook and is republished here with permission.
Besides hectic holiday travel, spring break is another hot time to get to the airport and fly far, far away. And when everyone has the same idea as you, you know how crazy the airports can get. Between the lines at security, the potential delays, and the general chaotic bustle of travelers, it’s sometimes tough to remember to eat at all, let alone make healthy food choices. But fear not: if you find yourself stuck in an airport during spring break, you don’t necessarily have to resort to greasy fast food or an unsatisfying bag of chips from that dingy-looking kiosk closest your gate. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) published their 12th annual airport food review a few short months ago to see which of the 18 busiest U.S. airports offer the healthiest meal options. Any restaurant in each of the airports that serves entrées on its menu was included in the survey, and a score of 0 to 100% was awarded based on the percentage of restaurants with at least one healthful (read: low-fat, high-fiber, and cholesterol-free) entrée.
The average score was 76%, which is excellent considering the fact that the average was 57% in the inaugural survey in 2001. PCRM reports that, although some airports have lost points (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, for example, dropped from 71 to 58% since last year) the overall trend is moving towards more nutritious offerings for travelers. The scores for each of the 18 airports are as follows:
- Newark Liberty International Airport – 92%
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport – 91%
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport – 90%
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport – 87%
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport – 84%
- Miami International Airport – 84%
- Orlando International Airport – 82%
- Washington Dulles International Airport – 82%
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – 82%
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 81%
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – 78%
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport – 78%
- San Francisco International Airport – 77%
- Denver International Airport – 77%
- Los Angeles International Airport – 76%
- Baltimore/Washington International Airport – 76%
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – 69%
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – 58%
Many of the entrées highlighted by the survey were meat-free and loaded with veggies, legumes and greens. Some examples include the hummus wrap at Newark’s Market Fresh, the smoked tofu, broccoli & mushroom burrito at Las Vegas’ 360 Gourmet, the Berkley Vegan Pizza at Houston George Bush’s zpizza, and numerous different veggie burger options. For more information on the review and other healthful meal choices at the above-mentioned airports, visit the PCRM website.
Are you traveling through any of these airports for spring break? Which airport restaurants do you visit to get a healthy meal before your flight?