Hungry air travelers who count calories can put down the calculator.
DietDetectives.com did the work and compared the food offerings of several major airlines. Virgin America and Air Canada have the healthiest choices, according to the site’s latest survey, and Alaska Airlines is close behind.
AAA expects 5.53 million travelers to be in and out of airports through the current holiday season. This year, the average number of calories per food item dropped to 360, down from 388 calories in 2012.
On Virgin America, the best bets are the meals, according to DietDetectives.com. The survey recommends the roasted pear and arugula salad with almonds and a fig mustard dressing.
For those flying via United Airlines, the site recommends skipping the Classic and Savory snack boxes and the cheese plate. A good option for a short flight is the Tapas snack box, but throw out the cheese spread and share with a travel companion.
The survey looked at 12 major airlines in all. Some of the worst on the list include American Airlines, U.S. Airways and Allegiant, which is the least cooperative, according to the site.
American Airlines passengers are recommended to try the hummus and chips at 203 calories. On U.S. Airways, the best individual snacks are the nuts, but the survey recommends splitting it with three people or more.
The best free snack for Delta passengers is peanuts, according to the survey.