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Why fast-food chains might be your healthiest meal option at the airport


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Photo: Stocksy/BoBo

Being healthy at the airport can be a true struggle: It’s a stressful place, there are germs everywhere, and the nutritious food offerings seem slim to none (though, to be fair, advancements are progressing on that front). And to make sure you’re eating as healthy as possible, you might, shockingly, want to stick to fast food.

Did you audibly gasp at that news? Well, don’t worry, because #same. Fast food might seem like the least healthy choice of the bunch, but it’s actually a much safer bet than salads of fresh fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, according to Money, those typically healthy finds emerge from airport kitchens that might not optimally sanitary due to the speed at which they work. Furthermore, it’s unclear how the fresh foods are transported into the terminal and exactly how long they’ve been there. All of this provides for a higher risk of ingesting sickness-causing bacteria, meaning you should stick to the cooked stuff at airport restaurants, if possible.

Buffets are another no-go, even if it’s seemingly safe-to-eat cooked options like pizza or pasta. Those items might be sitting on heated pans and warmed trays for hours on end (unless the place is popular and super-busy, and the food is restocked more often to fill demand—but do you really want to make that judgment call?).

Because brands like Shake Shack, Potbelly, Chili’s, and other fast-casual restaurants have a reputation and standards to uphold, they want to keep customers happy and do so by making sure their airport food tastes just as good as and is prepared as it would be in its normal restaurants.

Really, your best for finding bacteria-free, healthy-to-eat airport food is fast-food chains. Because brands like Shake Shack, Potbelly, Chili’s, and other fast-casual restaurants have a reputation and standards to uphold, they want to keep customers happy and do so by making sure their airport food tastes just as good as and is prepared as it would be in its normal restaurants.

And if you can’t decide on an option from one of those purveyors that’ll make you feel nutritionally satisfied for the remainder of your travels, just order a smorgasbord of healthy sides to tide you over until you’re back in your own perfectly stocked kitchen.

This is the surprisingly hygge-appropriate reason airport gate areas are carpeted. Also, this super-simple (and free) hack lets your skip the line at customs.

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