Most Airports Serve Up Healthful Meal Options
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Travelers who fly out of Reagan National Airport have the fewest options for eating a healthful pre-flight meal among 15 of the nation's busiest airports, according to a doctors' advocacy group that ranked them.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Overall, however, the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) concluded that airline passengers who don't want to subsist on free pretzels or boxed lunches can find good choices at more than 80 percent of the nation's busiest airports. For the second year in a row, the group said that nearly all the airports it surveyed had one or more restaurants that offered at least one low-fat, low-cholesterol vegetarian entree.
The PCRM's nutrition experts checked food at airports, including fast-food chains and sit-down restaurants, from July to October. Snack food kiosks and coffee shops were not included.
Eateries received a positive rating if they served at least one low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian breakfast, lunch or dinner entree. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines, along with medical groups such as the American Heart Association, encourage Americans to eat a mostly plant-based diet, rich in fiber, fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
The PCRM gave the airports a numerical ranking based on the number and types of healthful restaurants and meals available.
Top-ranked Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was lauded for "terminals that are packed with restaurants" offering sensible meals. Among the standouts: veggie noodle bowls and vegetarian sushi at the Blue Bamboo Xpress, spinach enchiladas at Cantina Laredo, and black bean burgers at Bennigan's.
Even last-place Reagan National, where just 42 percent of restaurants featured a healthful meal, had some bright spots, including Matsutake Sushi's vegetable combination roll, veggie chili at Cosi and a portobello melt at TGI Friday's, although the organization recommended skipping the cheese on that sandwich.