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LAX dips in healthy airport food ranking; Detroit's still No. 1

December 22, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Eateries at Terminals 4 and 5 (shown here) and the Tom Bradley International Terminal offer the healthiest meals at LAX, a food report says.
Eateries at Terminals 4 and 5 (shown here) and the Tom Bradley International… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

If you want to eat the healthiest airport food in the country, fly in or out of Detroit. It's the only American airport that scored 100% (and has been tops for three years running) for serving nutritious fare at its airport. Los Angeles, meanwhile, dropped from eighth to ninth place among the 15 major domestic airports ranked this year.

The stats come from dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which surveyed airport eateries between June and November and awarded a point to each restaurant serving at least one "low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free breakfast, lunch, or dinner entree."

Overall, the organization reports, healthy food is on the rise at airports, with 83% of airport vendors selling at least one healthy food option. San Francisco ranked second followed by Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Dallas/Fort Worth and Las Vegas, which tied for fifth place. (Other Southern California airports -- Bob Hope in Burbank, John Wayne in Santa Ana, etc. -- were not included in the study.)

I would say that airport food matters now more than ever because so many of us grab meals before hopping onto a flight. So amid the McDonald's, Cinnabons and Pinks, where's the good stuff at LAX? The report recommends veggie cheese-less pizza at Malibu Al's in Terminal 5, vegetable sushi rolls at Sushi Boy at Tom Bradley International Terminal and a roasted pepper and eggplant sandwich at Brioche Doree in Terminal 4.

At San Francisco's airport, San Francisco Soup Co., Plant Cafe and Pinkberry got a shout out from the organization for options such as tofu wrap, quinoa bowl and udon noodles. (Stop rolling your eyes; I eat this stuff all the time.)

Airports where you're least likely to find anything healthy are Atlanta (dead last) and the other D.C.-area airport, Ronald Reagan National.

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