San Diego Lands on List of Airports With Healthiest Dining Options

San Diego International Airport has 19 eateries that are considered "healthful" in the Physician Committee's 2015 Airport Food Review

With healthy dining options galore, San Diego International Airport has just landed on a list of the healthiest busiest airports in the nation, as ranked by dietitians.

According to the Physician Committee’s 2015 Airport Food Review, a report that highlights the airports with the healthiest food, San Diego International Airport ranks No. 15 on the list with 19 out of 27 of its restaurants considered “healthful.”

The report touts fresh, local California fare at spots like the PGA Tour Grill, located in Terminal 2 West, as a fine example of healthy dining. The report says the golf-centric eatery’s “On the Green” menu is fit for an athlete, with options like antioxidant-packed kale, romaine, and Mediterranean salads topped with avocado, pumpkin seeds and quinoa.

Meanwhile, the airport’s Seaside Stack Shack, also located in Terminal 2, offers a house salad stacked with healthy components: Israeli couscous, yellow peppers, diced tomatoes, golden raisins and a citrus dressing.

Over at The Counter: Custom Built Burgers, located in Terminal 1 East, health-minded travelers can snag a vegan burger in a bun or in a bowl of fresh greens, topped with veggies.

For the full list of dining options at San Diego International Airport, visit the airport website.

According to the report, more than 70 percent of airport eateries across the country serve disease-fighting foods, while 71 percent of restaurants at the nation’s busiest airports offer at least one high-fiber, plant-based, vegan meal option – a 25 percent increase from 2001.

The report says a “healthful meal” is one that includes fiber-packed ingredients that prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.

“Salads that mix a leafy green base and are topped with root vegetables, lentils or beans, whole grains, and garnished with fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds is always a great find,” said Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., associate director of clinical nutrition with the Physicians Committee, in a press release.

The No. 1 airport on the list is Los Angeles International Airport, with 44 of it 49 restaurants considered healthful. Other airports that landed high in the rankings include, in order: Newark Liberty International Airport, San Franciso International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Denver International Airport. At those airports, 80 to 84 percent of eateries offer dishes that focus on healthy basics – vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are at the bottom of the report due to a higher proportion of fast-food restaurant chains, including Burger King and McDonalds, clogging their terminals.

The Physicians Committee collected airport restaurant menus from the top 30 busiest airports in the United States and determined rankings based on cholesterol-free, plant-based, high-fiber menu entrée options across airport eateries. A total 1,227 menus were included in the research for the 2015 review.

For the full report, click here.

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