It’s pretty difficult not to get hungry on a flight, unless you’re flying extremely early in the morning and the only thing you are interested in is getting some sleep. Eating on a plane is fine, but there are actually certain food and drinks that you should avoid consuming while flying.
Below you’ll find 10 such items:
The compound allyl methyl disulfide, one of the culprits of garlic or onion breath, can take up to 24 hours to be removed from your body. Thankfully, there is a pretty easy fix. Eating foods such as raw apples or mint leaves can help deodorize your breath after you have eaten garlic or onions.
For those of you who fear flying, drinking some alcohol might seem like a great way to calm down, but you need to think twice. Flying by itself is already a dehydrating experience. Furthermore, sitting on a cramped plane for more than four hours already increases the chances of blood clots in high-risk people, and dehydration from drinking too much alcohol adds yet another layer of risk.
Grabbing yourself a cup of coffee on the way to the gate is a common habit, but that cup contains about 410 milligrams of caffeine. Two hours into the flight, you’ll have already have annoyed your flight neighbors with several trips to the bathroom and restlessness. A 2017 study found that 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight can act as a diuretic, leading to sodium, potassium, and fluid loss. This could result in muscle cramps and headaches.
4. Dark Chocolate
When we think about caffeine we usually think about coffee, but dark chocolate can pack a big caffeine punch. For example, a 3.5-ounce bar of 85% cacao has about 80 milligrams of caffeine alone, and chocolate covered espresso beans contain as much as 336 milligrams per serving.
That salami sandwich that you grabbed while waiting at the airport might just come back to haunt you when you’re in the air. Salami is a high-histamine food, so eating it can aggravate nasal allergies or sinusitis, making lift-off and landing a congestive nightmare. Next time, buy a turkey sandwich instead.
6. Tap Water
Sure, airlines give out H2O in bottles, but their coffee and tea are made using tap water – and you might just want to wait on those until you land. The Aircraft Drinking Water Rule of 2009 requires airlines to inspect their water systems for E. Coli at least every five years, which leaves a lot of time for error. Sure enough, a study carried out in 2015 found that the water on the two planes it tested contained bacteria known to cause diseases. Carry your own water bottle and fill it at a water fountain after you have gone past security.
That bag of dried apricots might seem enticing if no meal is included on the flight, but you might live to regret it if you have been recently diagnosed with asthma and aren’t particularly familiar with its triggers. Dried fruits can contain sulfites, which could promote an attack. Furthermore, lower oxygen levels might worsen breathing issues.
8. Nuts and Nut Butter
Peanuts are a tasty snack, but you’ll be going hungry if the flight attendant announces that someone on the flight has a severe nut allergy. Since the plane recycles a percentage of the cabin air, opening up a bag of nuts could expose the allergic person to potentially deadly particles.
Hit the brakes on the fast-food breakfast sandwich. At 1,989 milligrams, one sandwich happens to be 86% of the recommended daily 2,300 milligrams of sodium. All that sodium can boost blood pressure, which is more concerning when you consider the fact that the flight’s low oxygen already puts additional strain on your heart.
10. Carbonated Beverages
Lower oxygen levels can make flying extra trying for those with lung disorders. A study found that 18% of passengers with lung disease had at least mild respiratory distress when flying. To make matters worse, gas expansion at high altitudes can increase the pressure on your lungs. Therefore, it’s recommended that carbonated beverages are avoided when flying.