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National Nutrition Month

On the Road Again? How to Eat Healthily

March 16, 1998

The road--or airport--to your next business trip or vacation is not paved with bad, fast foods. In fact, travel and nutrition are possible. The American Dietetic Assn. offers the following tips:

* Drink lots of water--even if you're not thirsty.

With low humidity and recirculating air within the pressurized airplane cabin, air travel can be dehydrating and can aggravate symptoms of jet lag. Drink plenty of juice, water, milk or other noncaffeinated beverages--about eight ounces for each hour of flight.

* Pack a "survival kit" when traveling.

Add survival foods to your briefcase or carry-on bag. It's OK with the airlines and may be essential if you're traveling with small children or get stuck on the runway or in the airport for a few hours. A few items to include might be dried fruit, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, muffins, bagels, crackers or pretzels.

* Go easy on the alcohol.

If you are going to consume alcoholic beverages when traveling by air, remember moderation is key. Some people mistakenly believe that large amounts of alcohol will help them relax on long flights, but often find it has the opposite effect and may trigger restlessness.

* Eat breakfast.

Eating a healthful breakfast during travel may be one of the best ways to make sure you fuel your day. It's also a great way to take in a variety of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods like whole grain cereals, fruit, skim or low-fat milk or other breakfast favorites. In addition, you'll be less tempted to overeat later that morning or at lunch if you've started your day with breakfast.

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