Nutrition Tips for Traveling Around the World

by Andrew Adorno, DTR

Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling around the world can be difficult. Traveling requires planning ahead and arriving prepared – the same goes for making nutritious choices. While there is much temptation on the road, integrating these nutrition tips into your travels will help you stay focused on your long-term health goals.

Protein pack your coffee.

First thing’s first: coffee. If you’re carrying your coffee with you as you travel, try combining with a protein source to keep you sustained and focused longer.

 Latte/Cappuccino with skim milk or unsweetened soy milk: 16 ounces = 12 grams protein

 Mix equal parts coffee with ICONIC protein beverage: adds 10 grams protein per serving

 Mix together 1 scoop whey or vegan based protein powder with 4 ounces unsweetened almond milk to use as coffee creamer: adds 20 grams protein

Choose a location with access to a kitchen.

Staying with a local family or bed and breakfast can allow you to cook your own meals more often. Even if the only meal you prepare for yourself that day is breakfast, having that kitchen space will allow you to have more control over the foods you consume. 

Purchasing some staple groceries can save you from excess calories.

 100% whole grain breads or whole grain bagels

 Lean proteins: eggs, chicken, sliced turkey, beans

 Low fat/fat free dairy: cottage cheese or local yogurts with more protein than sugar

 Natural nut butters

Immerse in the culture and visit local farmers markets.

Ask the locals! Connecting with your cultural surroundings by talking with people from the area can help you find the best eats.

 Local Farmers Markets: Pick up pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables, hummus, local yogurts, sandwiches, salads, and portable fruits with peels.

 Sandwich Shops: Choose whole-grain bread, extra vegetables, and mustard instead of oil or mayo.

 Drive-thrus and casual restaurants: Focus on items that are grilled, steamed, broiled, or baked instead of fried or sautéed. If nutrition information is available, aim for a meal with 400 – 600 calories.

 Consider salads with a lean protein and vinaigrette-based dressing, broth-based soups, oatmeal and eggs with whole-grain bread.

Snack throughout the day.

A snack that will sustain you throughout the day combines proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and whole-grains. Snacking will help you refrain from long periods without food, which will aid in preventing you from overeating at meal time.

Create a healthy snack by combining foods from 3 of the following 6 groups

 Fruits: sliced apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, kiwi

 Healthy Fats: natural peanut/almond butters, almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocado

 Low-Fat Dairy: 2% cottage cheese, 0% plain Greek yogurt, part-skim string cheese, brie

 Portable Proteins: boiled eggs, turkey/chicken breast, edamame, tuna in a pouch

 Vegetables: sliced carrots, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, sliced tomatoes, baked kale chips

 Whole Grains: 100% whole grain bread/crackers, air-popped popcorn, corn tortillas

Non-perishable portable snacks

 Freeze dried vegetables

 Instant oatmeal

 Nut butters: many brands have to-go snack packs

 Nuts: Pre-portioned into snack-size bags

 Protein bars: Strong + KIND, Nature Valley Protein, Quest

 Trail mix

 Tuna in the pouch

 Whole or dried fruit

 Whole-grain pretzels or crackers

Limit splurging to once a day.

When traveling to places unfamiliar to you, going for the most convenient or culturally decadent food is a hard temptation to avoid.

 If you’re craving comfort food, just watch your portions

 Stick to the basics such as:

 Lean proteins without the bread or special sauces

 Vegetable or side salad instead of starches like potatoes or rice

 Kid-size sides

 Water instead of soda or sweetened beverages

 Based your meals off mostly fruits and vegetables if possible

 Split large meals with a friend or loved one

 Pack half your plate to save for eating later

Stay hydrated.

 Focus on consuming half your body weight in ounces of water per day

 Avoid sugar sweetened beverages like regular sodas and pre-sweetened iced teas

 Choose potassium-rich foods and drinks: Bananas, fruits, V8 or tomato juice, and coconut water

can aid in keeping you hydrated for longer periods of time, as they replenish electrolytes.

 Chia seeds: chia seeds absorb and retain a ton of water. Add some to your water to help with your body retaining fluid throughout the day.

 If you’re moving around a lot while traveling, drink an extra 2 cups of water per pound of sweat lost.

Many hotels and inns provide access to a workout area. Try integrating 45 minutes to an hour of cardio each day throughout your trip.This will help burn excess calories and keep your energy levels up!

Eat Fit NOLA at the Louis Armstrong Airport

Be on the lookout for Eat Fit NOLA options available at the Louis Armstrong International Airport! There are now healthy, dietitian approved options available at:

 Zatarain’s Kitchen

 Dooky Chase

 Copeland’s

 Ye Olde College Inn

Andrew Adorno is a Dietetic Technician, Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics