Eat Right on the Fly

Last year, the national health- advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine surveyed the nation's 13 largest airports in search of healthy vegetarian items.


WOLFGANG PUCK'S

EXPRESS

Location: Concourse B

Item: Tortilla Soup

Price: $5.35

The skinny: Tomato and broth-based soups like this one are low-fat and filling.

LEFTY'S MILE HIGH GRILLE

Location: Concourses B and C

Item: Veggie Burger

Price: $7

The skinny: Unlike most veggie burgers made from frozen patties that resemble hockey pucks, this one's made from brown rice, onions and mushrooms. It tastes great and is easy to eat on the run. High in fiber and protein, it's a good choice for sustained energy.

McDONALD'S

Location: All concourses

Item: Fruit and Walnut Snack Size Salad

Price: $2

The skinny: A great snack or mini-meal, this is low in calories (210) and a good source of calcium and vitamin C, and adds just the right amount of healthy fat and flavor from the candied walnuts.

CHEF JIMMY'S BISTRO

Location: Concourse A

Item: Shrimp and Pasta Arrabiata

Price: $10

The skinny: Tossed in a spicy marinara sauce and topped with fresh basil, this low-fat dish is filling and definitely does not taste like "airport food."

CANTINA GRILL

Location: All concourses

Item: Burrito Bowls or "Naked" Taco Salads

Price: $7.50

The skinny: Order your burritos and salads "naked" (without the tortilla shell) and save big on calories. The deep-fried taco shell adds a whopping 400 calories and 25 grams of fat. Oversized tortillas are low in fat but contain 350 calories. Black beans, veggies and salsa make the bowls and salads healthy ways to satisfy a craving for Mexican. POUR LA FRANCE

Location: Concourse B

Item: Lemon Hummus Plate

Price: $5.95

The skinny: Tasty lemon hummus is topped with chickpeas and surrounded by grilled pita, baby carrots, cucumbers and kalamata olives for dipping. Good source of fiber, vitamins and good fats from the olives and olive oil in the hummus.

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Flying the

healthier skies

U.S. airports with the largest selections of healthy vegetarian food, according to a November study:

1. Orlando 97%

2. (tie) Detroit,

San Francisco 96%

3. Newark Liberty 95%

4. Dallas/Fort Worth 94%

5. Chicago O'Hare 91%

6. Denver 89%

7. Philadelphia 86%

8. (tie) Minneapolis-

St. Paul, Los Angeles 84%

9. Atlanta 83%

10. Houston Bush 76%

11. Las Vegas 69%

Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Food choices that won't add baggage

At breakfast, skip the heavy egg sandwiches and cinnamon rolls and opt for yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, low-fat milk, bagels or a granola or energy bar. These are widely available throughout the airport; bananas and apples can be found at many of the newsstands.

At Mexican restaurants, choose soft shells and tortillas over crunchy fried ones. Many locations now assemble your dish in front of you, so request extra veggies and salsa and go easy on the cheese and sour cream.

Watch the "extras" on sandwiches. Many sandwiches are loaded up with mayo or sauce, cheese, guacamole and bacon. Each will add nearly 100 calories to your sandwich, so decide which one extra topping is your favorite and go with that. Use mustard, veggies and pickles to add flavor and crunch with no fat and few calories. Case in point: the small Quizno's Turkey Lite has only 330 calories and 6 grams of fat, while the same-size Turkey Ranch Swiss has double the calories and five times the fat.

Salads aren't an automatic healthy choice. Many of them are loaded with cheese, nuts and dressings that can push the calorie count over 800. Yes, 800 calories. For a salad? You might as well go for the Big Mac. Asian salads are usually a good bet because they don't have cheese or nuts, and you can make any salad a healthier choice by going with a low-fat dressing or using less regular dressing. You probably won't notice the difference if you use only half the packet.

ANDREA CARROTHERS, RD


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