5

votes

Meal plan in airplane. Diabetic or Gluten-free?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Hi, I would like to know your experiences of meals in the plane. I have different choices of meals but which one is more close to the paleo ones? I'm thinking of gluten-free or for diabetics but afraid I will get something with gluten-free grains or cheese. I will carry some nuts with me and maybe a can of cod liver in case there's nothing edible... Tell me some of your experiences. What plan did you choose and what did you get?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on October 03, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Mmm, bacon. Snack of kings!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 01, 2011
at 11:04 PM

That's a great idea, thanks!

9530dbed146bb4bf9307a4e4c1dde896

(0)

on July 01, 2011
at 04:18 PM

When I fly, I use whole frozen, cooked sweet potatoes as ice packs. Keeps the TSA happy. More importantly it keeps me happy as my food is cold, I have one more food item to eat later and there's no wasted space of an ice pack. With that being said, keep in mind there's nothing left to use for the return trip. But odds are, I wouldn't have a way to refreeze the ice packs either if I'm staying in a hotel.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 01, 2011
at 03:06 PM

@Billy - I am flying from Detroit to San Fran and have wireless Internet on the plane as I write this (no b.s.). I just ate a cheese omelete with potatoes and skipped the bagel. So maybe some unwanted PUFAs, but no gluten or fructose. Life is good!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Laura, your torso looks SO GOOD!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 01, 2011
at 04:15 AM

oh you know....it was a pre- 9/11 world.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 01, 2011
at 03:15 AM

Torso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:24 AM

I ordered the gluten-free meal when traveling to Malaysia recently. I got it and was terribly disappointed to find that it was two, sad skewers of zucchini and mushrooms, and a GF bread roll. I was tempted to email and complain, but decided to see how my return flight meal was. It was fine, chicken and veggies. I had even brought a meal just in case, but it wasn't necessary. Luck of the draw!

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 01, 2011
at 12:30 AM

If however, you were going to starve to death on the flight, i'm pretty sure you would survive if you ate the airplane meal. Millions of people eat on planes everyday, and im pretty sure most of them life to tell the story

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on June 30, 2011
at 11:37 PM

Akd, we can always count on you to steer rookies in the right direction. :-)

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 30, 2011
at 09:55 PM

I think I'll bring a can of sardines as well...lots of protein and fat!

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on June 30, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Lets pretend you are eating the canned fish items in the airport, not on the plane. UGh! Smell.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 30, 2011
at 06:39 PM

+1 for making me laugh =)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 30, 2011
at 06:27 PM

+1 for scent of urine!

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Thanks Annie and Kelly. Your comments really help me make a choice :)))

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:51 PM

i flew back from montana with a very rare bison steak in my purse. it wasnt pretty.

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Thanks for your comment I'll keep in mind about the fat (eggs, black chocolate, nuts...)

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:48 PM

If you do bring the CLO, don't forget to take it in 1oz (or was it 3oz) bottles to pass security...assuming you were talking about the liquid version :)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:25 PM

ok so thats a long time and add in the getting there 3 hrs prior, delays and stops etc. it becomes even longer. There was another discussion like this somewhere, I'll look for it and post. I make my own version of lara bars and chocolate protein bars and take those. also you can buy fruit in airports, buy at least an apple and banana. if you can do cheese, its lovely with fruit and nuts. If you can bring jerky, nuts, cheese or any variety of stuff so you have options you wont feel cheated. Hard to get protein though.. I love treating myself to the fruit!!

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:20 PM

If your MS is doing better on Paleo, I don't think it is worth chancing that meal on the plane. Who knows what's in that stuff? Better to stick with your nuts and raw veggies so you don't get the headaches and dizziness.

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Good idea for the sleeping. I have little anxiety when I fly overseas. I hate planes but I can't help myself to travel. :)))

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:31 PM

You're right I won't bring the cod liver... Don't need to hear to those passenger comments. I will survive with my nuts, raw veggies and lots of water. :)

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:27 PM

Haven't book my flight yet but It's 16-25hrs (2 stops included). I'm thinking of fasting but I have ms and when I try to fast for to long I get headaches and dizziness. I've been strict paleo for 2 months only and don't want to screw that up just for a trip. So I guess I will bring nuts and raw veggies...

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:10 PM

they still serve food on airplanes?!? guess i dont fly much. ps. given the choice, i would go GF. and dont bring anything too stinky as a courtesy to your fellow passengers.

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22 Answers

13
F5cce39a983b6074040592c00ec444d0

(270)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I'm ex cabin crew - the gluten free meal will be far closer to Paleo than the diabetic meal. Most diabetic meals will have gluten in them. Even the gluten free meal is likely to have a GF bread roll but the hot bit will most likely be fish/chicken breast & veggies. I'd make sure to have some jerky, fruit and nuts with you just in case you can't eat the meal.

Also, the quality of the meal depends very much on the airport. At some outstations a Gluten free meal was just a lump of cheese and an apple - rather embarrassing to serve.

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:24 AM

I ordered the gluten-free meal when traveling to Malaysia recently. I got it and was terribly disappointed to find that it was two, sad skewers of zucchini and mushrooms, and a GF bread roll. I was tempted to email and complain, but decided to see how my return flight meal was. It was fine, chicken and veggies. I had even brought a meal just in case, but it wasn't necessary. Luck of the draw!

10
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 30, 2011
at 04:12 PM

How far are you flying? Anything less than 8 hours is an opportunity to get in some fasting.

Last time I flew overseas a couple months ago, I carried on 4 boiled eggs, ate those at the beginning of the evening flight, drank the complimentary glass of champagne (flying business class) and then told the flight attendent to please not wake me up for the meal service and went to sleep.

Woke up in Germany still paleo compliant :-)

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Good idea for the sleeping. I have little anxiety when I fly overseas. I hate planes but I can't help myself to travel. :)))

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 01, 2011
at 03:06 PM

@Billy - I am flying from Detroit to San Fran and have wireless Internet on the plane as I write this (no b.s.). I just ate a cheese omelete with potatoes and skipped the bagel. So maybe some unwanted PUFAs, but no gluten or fructose. Life is good!

8
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:12 PM

I do not eat on airplanes. The food is not real food, so I wouldn't choose either plan. I just bring my own snacks. Afterall, there is no chance of me starving to death on the flight.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on July 01, 2011
at 12:30 AM

If however, you were going to starve to death on the flight, i'm pretty sure you would survive if you ate the airplane meal. Millions of people eat on planes everyday, and im pretty sure most of them life to tell the story

7
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on June 30, 2011
at 05:49 PM

I travel a LOT, often 13 to 15 hour non-stop flights. I have tried to order all types of meals in all cabin classes - My verdict -- Do not order special meals unless you are really sick. If you are doing it just for a "staying Paleo" reason, do the following:

1: Short flights, overnight flights, redeye etc. - Eat well before you leave, In the Airplane keep yourself interestingly busy, take a book or a movie on your laptop or new music on your iPod.. whatever. Boredom is one of the main reason you turn your mouth into a garbage can. Try and sleep if you can, a glass of wine helps but remember to keep yourself well hydrated.

2: Long flights: Again, eat well before you leave - Take some of your own food. Pack variety not quantity. I have successfully tried all of foll: Boiled eggs, Jerky, nuts, lettuce wrapped bacon/tuna, Sardines, canned Mackerel, hard cheese, home made energy bars.. even protein shakes. The regular food the airline serves is generally better than their special meals. Invariably, A "Gluten free" meal on several different airlines is Corn bread that tastes like cardboard and a boiled bland chicken breast along with a very sugary dessert.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on June 30, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Lets pretend you are eating the canned fish items in the airport, not on the plane. UGh! Smell.

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Have you ever spent much time on a Greyhound Bus? I did when I was younger. I say, go with the Greyhound Special: Fried chicken wrapped in aluminum foil. There is something magical about the smell of Fried Chicken mixed with Aluminum Foil with the scent of urine wafting through the air. Otherwise, take Air France. Their food is pretty good.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 30, 2011
at 06:27 PM

+1 for scent of urine!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 30, 2011
at 06:39 PM

+1 for making me laugh =)

3
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 01, 2011
at 12:28 AM

My plane and travel snacks: cured meat. hard boiled egg. nuts. coconut. dark chocolate. chopped veg. blueberries. jerky. You're safe for a day + of non-refrigeration with this combo and can always pack on ice at the hotel if worried about your next leg. I learned to toss a few extras in to share with seatmates, a nice "in" aka bribe for mags when they're done with them :) I had to fly for business for 6-years and there's nothing worse than being at an airport where everything shuts at 8p and all you have is a water fountain. You only need that to happen once. Happy travels!

3
E8b338fd00530bd6f24474c38d32f4ff

(60)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Gluten free is the closest to paleo but still usually comes with yogurt and other dairy products. I tried kosher the last time I flew on reports that it was just a big piece of meat and a salad. THat was not the case. Lots of dinner rolls and tempting desserts. And breakfast was a muffin. Take your own snacks like hard boiled eggs still in the shells, trail mix and fruit. Also, if you don't mind eating it cold, I took frozen stir fry and ate it for breakfast once it was thawed.

3
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I don't eat on airplanes or in airports. Don't trust the food, and I can go 5 hours - or more if it's to Europe. To asia I might take a few hard boiled eggs and some cooked bacon.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on October 03, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Mmm, bacon. Snack of kings!

2
3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

on June 30, 2011
at 05:29 PM

I wrestled with this recently as well, and did alot of internet searches to no avail.

I regularly travel 25 hours on flights and I can tell you this:

Especially if you are in business/first, but even if you are in coach, there is enough Paleo components served, and your energy expenditures are so low sitting in a seat for that long, that you are at more risk of excessive calories even eating the Paleo components of the standard meal.

Especially if you are taking a 24 hour trip that is going to be at least 2 segments where meals are served. For example, USA to Bangkok usually has a stop in Japan/Korea/Taiwan. You will be served a meal 1 hour before the end of the first segment, and 1 hour into the next segment, with usually (but not always) a 1-2 hour connection in between. Thats as little as 4 hours between 2 big business class meals. Again you are more at risk of overeating than not, even with not eating the whole plate!

If anything to control hunger, I brought high fat snacks with me: 90% cacao chocolate bars, mixed nuts, etc... I like the idea someone else mentioned of bringing hard boiled eggs. Fat is important here as it provides calories without increasing hunger-causing insulin spikes.

The few descriptions of gluten free meals I found on the net made me more concerned than having the standard meal as they had more components in the form of fruit, which WILL increase hunger.

The key is making sure you don't get hungry at all on eating a bit less food from the normal meal served, as I said above.

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Thanks for your comment I'll keep in mind about the fat (eggs, black chocolate, nuts...)

1
14fa79ce4dec5c01dc8f54195238f138

on November 06, 2011
at 03:53 AM

No plan. Most flights, don't need much if anything to get by. I take along some beef jerky and/or nuts...I'll bee good to go for hours.

1
D0fb7443f4f1ffc001b92c73987a181b

on October 03, 2011
at 07:42 AM

The good diabetic plans contain foods which are high nutrition and low amount in sugar.

1
Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on July 01, 2011
at 09:47 AM

Take 2 Tylenol PM's (or Ambien if you can get it) for each long leg of the flight and just sleep the entire time :) Nah, I've actually tried that and it didn't work out so well......

We're flying from Frankfurt to Portland next week and aren't too worried about it. It's a long flight, but we'll manage. We'll take our home-made snack bars, jerky, eggs, nuts, etc... and eat what we can from the kosher meals we ordered. I've had the best luck with kosher meals so far, but it seems others have not. It's just best to have some of your own food on hand to supplement whatever you get served.

1
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on July 01, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I had the same issue on my recent Sydney-LAX flight and went for the GF option. What a mistake! Instead of providing naturally GF food, it was SAD food modified to exclude gluten. Cakes, bread, cereal, soy. The "normal" option got butter for their bread roll. I got healthy low fat margarine. I went very hungry.

1
03f8e74520b0a79c6ce1501524509ac2

on June 30, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Check out airlinemeals.net, where people have posted photos of their meals.

A personal anecdote: just got back from France via Air France, and their gluten-fee option was also the low-lactose option. So, the meals were usually a small dish of protein (chicken or fish, no sauce), rice and veggies, a side salad of fruit or veggies, vanilla-flavoured soy pudding/yogurt thing, and rice crackers or rice cakes. Despite my hesitation to eat airplane fish, it didn't taste too bad.

Having said that, I probably wouldn't do it again, as the last meal I got was STILL FROZEN. Cabin crew wasn't all that helpful in trying to thaw it out, so I ate what bits I could.

1
Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 30, 2011
at 11:11 PM

The question reminds me of the time I flew from San Francisco to London. A vegetarian was seated next to me. The attendant brought her a basket of rolls and other breads for breakfast.

Passenger: I say, do you have a bit of butter or jam to go with these, or are they pretty much on their own? Attendant (pretends to look in cart): No. Terribly sorry. Afraid they are on their own.

1
3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

on June 30, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Ugh, don't eat on planes. The one time that I ordered a gluten-free meal, I was served a cold sliver of chicken breast that had to be 3 weeks old, with a wilted piece of lettuce and tomato, and a roll in a package that clearly stated wheat on the package ingredients. Bring your own food. It's not that long unless you are flying to Australia (unless you are in Australia of course)!

1
244dca88091fa349a77379b1629d0b25

(255)

on June 30, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Neither option is good, in my opinion, considering the ADA recommended diet for diabetics (lol carbs) or gluten-free junk food loaded with carbs.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:12 PM

I generally can't and dont eat on planes, even special meals (vegan, kosher, never been offered the diabetic or gluten free meal)

If I do eat anything its the fruit, maybe some cheese if I'm up for it, and occasionally if they have nuts (not peanuts, but they are salted and toasted generally)...

I always bring stuff. Is it a long flight??

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Thanks Annie and Kelly. Your comments really help me make a choice :)))

53fd32bde31dbfbf8eeb241c633206c0

(35)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:27 PM

Haven't book my flight yet but It's 16-25hrs (2 stops included). I'm thinking of fasting but I have ms and when I try to fast for to long I get headaches and dizziness. I've been strict paleo for 2 months only and don't want to screw that up just for a trip. So I guess I will bring nuts and raw veggies...

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:20 PM

If your MS is doing better on Paleo, I don't think it is worth chancing that meal on the plane. Who knows what's in that stuff? Better to stick with your nuts and raw veggies so you don't get the headaches and dizziness.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:25 PM

ok so thats a long time and add in the getting there 3 hrs prior, delays and stops etc. it becomes even longer. There was another discussion like this somewhere, I'll look for it and post. I make my own version of lara bars and chocolate protein bars and take those. also you can buy fruit in airports, buy at least an apple and banana. if you can do cheese, its lovely with fruit and nuts. If you can bring jerky, nuts, cheese or any variety of stuff so you have options you wont feel cheated. Hard to get protein though.. I love treating myself to the fruit!!

0
5e814f33ef75ba9e6f5dacfd6a3aec8b

on July 01, 2011
at 05:52 AM

I'd give it 50/50 you even receive the gluten-free option and even then it's very unlikely to be good. I've ordered it and had the standard option end up having more things I could disassemble. Speaking of disassembly, you could always order a couple sandwiches or 3 snack boxes at $6-10 a piece and construct enough meat and veggies to create a human meal. On an expense account it's not a bad option. Just sayin'

0
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 30, 2011
at 09:45 PM

I rarely fly, but am flying next week...I was just planning to make both trips fast days. I will pack some food in case a flight is delayed and I end up stranded in an airport where there is no food that I feel good about eating. I'll pack jerky,and maybe an avocado whole in a container to protect it. Before my IF days, I used to make a big salad with meat and hardboiled eggs in a small cooler. TSA only once gave me a hard time about having an ice pack in the cooler...I usually travel with my kids, and pack a days' worth of food for all of us...I used this to convince TSA to let me keep the icepack!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 30, 2011
at 09:55 PM

I think I'll bring a can of sardines as well...lots of protein and fat!

9530dbed146bb4bf9307a4e4c1dde896

(0)

on July 01, 2011
at 04:18 PM

When I fly, I use whole frozen, cooked sweet potatoes as ice packs. Keeps the TSA happy. More importantly it keeps me happy as my food is cold, I have one more food item to eat later and there's no wasted space of an ice pack. With that being said, keep in mind there's nothing left to use for the return trip. But odds are, I wouldn't have a way to refreeze the ice packs either if I'm staying in a hotel.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 01, 2011
at 11:04 PM

That's a great idea, thanks!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:31 PM

Last time I traveled I wasn't as worried about the plane as I was about eating well in the food forsaken Las Vegas strip, so I loaded up not just for the ride but for the whole trip.

Get some really good vacuum packed beef jerky, the kind that isn't so dehydrated. That stuff is like eating steak. You'll drink more water that way too since it's a bit salty.

Hard boiled eggs and hard veggies like carrots could be good at the beginning while they are cool but aren't as good later when lukewarm.

Nuts are always good, as has been said. You have to decide how much of that food you can eat.

If you eat fruit a tart apple will be a nice change from all the savory.

Dehydrated vegetables and fruit. For my last trip I was able to buy no oil/no sugar crispy dried carrots, raspberries and other veggies. Don't know where you live so you might want to look them up online.

Here's a link: http://www.justtomatoes.com/jtstore/pc/home.asp

I also got some of the of these. (veg only) Fried in Palm oil:)

http://neherbalfoods.com/danielle/our%20snacks.htm

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Laura, your torso looks SO GOOD!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 01, 2011
at 03:15 AM

Torso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-1
Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:12 AM

I always bring my own food. I have been on 9.5 hour flights and packed my own stuff. Airplane food is gross.

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