The Diet Detective: Airline Snack Facts

Southwest Airlines

(214-792-4223, www.southwest.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful, really very nice people.
Health Score: (**)
Best Bet: Go for the nuts and skip the pretzels and other items.
Cost: Free.
Snacks
 
On short flights:

  • Honey or dry-roasted peanuts (70 calories, 18 minutes of walking).
  • Pretzels (60 calories, 16 minutes of walking).
 
On select flights:
  • Nabisco Airplane Cookie (120 calories, 31 minutes of walking).
  • Ritz 6-pack Cheese Sandwich Crackers (200 calories, 52 minutes of walking).
  • Ritz Toasted Chips (100 calories, 26 minutes of walking).
 

Virgin America

(877-359-8474, www.virginamerica.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Horrible. This is the second year in a row that Virgin America believes they don't need to provide the information almost every restaurant and food product must offer to customers.
Health Score: (**)
Best Bet: In terms of snacks, the PopChips and yumBar are low-calorie choices; the others are high in calories and not good choices. Virgin offers a wide variety of meals, but the focus is not necessarily on health and calories. The chicken sandwich appears to be your best bet. For snack boxes, go with the Veggies and Hummus or the Protein Meal.
 
Snacks:
 
A la Cart

  • Chex Mix (420 calories, 109 minutes of walking).
  • Pringles (375 calories, 97 minutes of walking).
  • Emerald Mixed Nuts (425 calories, 110 minutes of walking).
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (330 calories, 86 minutes of walking).
  • Sweetriot yumBar 65% (190 calories, 49 minutes of walking).
  • PopChips (100 calories, 26 minutes of walking).
  • Snickers (528 calories, 137 minutes of walking).
Snack Boxes
 
Veggies & Hummus
Crunchmaster crackers, pickled and garden-fresh veggies including broccoli, radishes, summer squash and tomatoes. Sweet peppadew hummus and curry dipping sauce. Total = 275 calories, 71 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).
 
Artisan Cheese & Fruit
Artisan cheeses, including Camembert, aged Cheddar, fresh mozzarella, havarti dill and pepper jack paired with seasonal fruits, fresh grapes, assorted sundried fruits and Rustic Bakery crostini. Total = 560 calories, 145 minutes of walking.
 
Power Protein Breakfast
Hard-boiled egg, cinnamon Danish bread, aged Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, fresh pineapple, grapes and ripe mango. Total = 385 calories, 100 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).
 
Meals:
 
Hearty Meal

Old Wisconsin beef salami slices, Copper Cowbell cheese spread, Late July organic crackers, Mariani dried apricots, BBQ PopChips, Sweet Perry Orchards cashew mix and Walker's shortbread. Total = 530 calories, 138 minutes of walking.
 
Protein Meal
Lemon pepper tuna spread, Crunchmaster multigrain crackers, Wild Garden hummus, original PopChips, Mariani dried apricots and an Almond Roca candy. Total = 390 calories, 101 minutes of walking.
 
Comfort Meal
Barney Butter almond butter, Bonne Maman strawberry jam, Late July organic crackers, Sweet Perry Orchards unsweetened applesauce, Annie's Cheddar bunnies, Seneca apple chips and Sweet Perry Orchards cashew mix. Total = 590 calories, 153 minutes of walking.
 
California Deli Sandwich
Thinly shaved turkey breast, Cure 81 deli fresh ham, havarti dill cheese, farm-fresh tomato and green lettuce in a marble rye hoagie roll. Served with Toblerone Chocolate. Total = 650 calories, 169 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).
 
Homestyle Chicken Sandwich

Chicken salad, vine-ripened tomatoes and crisp lettuce on hearth-baked nine-grain bread. Served with a Toblerone chocolate. Total = 325 calories, 84 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).
 
Thai Peanut Chicken Hand Roll
Fresh chicken breast marinated in a Thai sesame dressing, with sweet bell peppers, carrots, dry roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro in a red pepper flatbread. Served with a Thai noodle salad and Toblerone chocolate. Total = 675 calories, 175 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).
 
Bavarian Roast Beef Sandwich
Thinly shaved medium cooked roast beef on thick sliced Russian rye bread, with fontina cheese, pickled red onions, tomatoes, crisp lettuce and a whole-grain mustard-horseradish sauce. Served with a Toblerone chocolate. Total = 700 calories, 182 minutes of walking (estimated by Diet Detective Staff Nutrition Expert).

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