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Jun 2, 2002 04:30 PM

Diabetic airplane meals

  • c

My husband is diabetic, and I've noticed on some travel Web sites that there are special diabetic inflight meals available. Has anyone ever seen/tried these? I've heard a rumor that vegetarian meals are far superior to regular meals in terms of taste and freshness. . .maybe diabetic meals also are better. (Hubby's a fussy eater.) TIA!


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  1. c
    Ciaohound (Bob Savelli)

    I have had a couple of these "diabetic" meals.

    IMO, they are just typical crummy airplane food, in the reduced sugar style. Everyone seems to think all diabetics need to do is eliminate sugar to solve our problems.

    More bland and blah than regular airline meals, I suggest you bring along low carbo. snacks to tide him over and let him pick over the regular food that best fits his diet plan.

    Fat-free yogurt, AkMak crackers, matzo crackers, fruit, cheese, low-carb "power bars", etc. work well. Maybe you can bring onto the plane (I recently did) a small igloo container as your personal carry-on item with his favorites.

    1. LOL! Vegetarian meals *may* be tastier, but generally they are just high fat cheese fests. Bad ones at that. Ham and cheese is the regular meal? Veg = just cheese. A cheese danish may even be considered a "meal." On domestic (US) airlines, vegetarian meal usually doesn't mean vegan (for those who prefer that) and are often not healthy choices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LB
        Caitlin McGrath

        All the airlines do vegan meals, too, you just have to request them. 10-15 years ago, the veg and vegan meals were invariably better than the regular stuff, but now it's all equally terrible, it seems.

      2. Several years ago I was flying frequently and got in the habit of pre-ordering the diabetic special meal even though I am not diabetic. Why? Because I was more likely to be able to actually identify what I was eating, it was lower in overall fat and calories and didn't taste too bad, meaning it was actually edible. However, the airlines have since changed their attitudes towards meals so I can't be sure my experience is still accurate.

        I've had diabetic diets on United, American, Delta and Alaska Airlines. While none of them were great, they *were* better than the regular fare. The best diabetic meals that I had were on Alaska Airlines.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gayla

          I know diabetic meals are usually an offering on all flights that I've taken but I've never chosen them. I usually get low-fat/calorie, vegetarian, or my personal favorite Asian vegetarian meals. Although they rarely live up to their name and I usually end up getting some crappy over-sugared cereal bar rather than an equally over-sugared but tastier brownie. That said overall I feel ordering a special meal gives me slightly more personalized service(they'll use your name when they're looking for you).Occasionally you end up with something that was made just slightly more thoughtfully than the rest, it's rare though.


        2. I am diabetic and have ordered "diabetic" meals on airplanes, they are just as cheap, nasty and unappealing as the regular meals they serve. Maybe 10 years ago it was different, but not today. Your husband would be better off eating something decent before he gets on the plane, then bring some snacks that are appropriate to his diet with him. How long will the flight be? If a domestic flight you should not need to bring a cooler on board.

          1. b
            Bride of the Juggler

            Having ordered vegetarian or kosher meals for years, I'd say there is only a 60% chance of actually getting your special meal. So if you need to have certain food at certain times for medical reasons, bring it yourself. You can not rely on the airlines. Thank you.