Travel Light for Cancer Prevention

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Are you packing your bags for that last trip before Labor Day and flying to your destination?  If so, consider giving a little thought to your food choices en route and your selections can give you the energizing start you want for your final summer fling. Choose cancer-fighting foods but also watch calories to help your efforts to stay at a healthy weight.

Start with breakfast:

Avoid: Cinnamon rolls. While they may smell enticing, the “classic” version has almost 900 calories – at least half of what most women need in a day.  The multi-bun packs have thousands of calories.

Choose: Honey Whole Wheat Bagel with Peanut Butter or Egg.  If it’s huge, eat half and spread the p.b. yourself.  ½ bagel with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter or 1 egg = 250 calories (approx).

Add: 1 cup orange juice and coffee and skim milk.

All this for 500 calories or less – protein, dairy, fruit and a little whole grain, no added sugar.

On the Plane:

Avoid: Sugary beverages – calories and no vitamins, minerals or fiber.

Choose: Club soda with lime; Mix juice half and half with club soda. You’ll get the refreshing sensation of carbonation with none or half the calories.  A good thing since your activity level is pretty low.

Add: If you are really hungry, the ½ oz of peanuts or pretzels may be just the thing, but if you’re not hungry, save them for later.

For less than 200 calories – water, maybe a little 100% juice and small snack.

For Lunch – in the airport or to take along

Avoid: The fast food value meal.  (What did you think I’d say?)

Choose: You may find places that have pre-made salads and sandwiches.  Fortunately most will have food labels.  Look for a lunch of about 500-600 calories that contains some vegetables, a protein source and whole grain (not always possible).

Salads – these should contain actual greens and vegetables.  Limit fried toppings, cheese and salad dressings – 2 Tbsp of dressing should be plenty.

Deli sandwiches – look for vegetarian options or tuna salad so you can avoid the processed meat linked to colon cancer.

Fast food – choose the small burger or the snack wraps.

In all cases choose water, milk or unsweetened tea for the beverage.

In general think New American Plate – 2/3 or more of your plant contains vegetables, fruits or whole grain and 1/3 or less has animal products.

What are your airport healthy eating strategies?


    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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