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MIA Ranked Tops Among Airports With Healthiest Food

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Adding some high-fiber vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and kale to your rice will obviously help lower the calorie count. But not only that. Adding veggies to rice at lunchtime appears to slow stomach emptying, according to research. The end result? You feel full longer. In fact, people in a study ate much less at dinner when they added veggies to their rice at lunch. (Photo credit: www.nutrifit.org)

Adding some high-fiber vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and kale to your rice will obviously help lower the calorie count. But not only that. Adding veggies to rice at lunchtime appears to slow stomach emptying, according to research. The end result? You feel full longer. In fact, people in a study ate much less at dinner when they added veggies to their rice at lunch. (Photo credit: http://www.nutrifit.org)

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Running back Reggiie Bush #22 celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammates against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Source: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you want a healthy meal, the first place you’d head to satisfy your craving is…the airport? While it may not be the place where most people go, it’s nice to know someone is tracking the health of airport food, and the fact that this year, Miami International ranks 6th in the nation for healthy airport food.

So what does that mean? The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine surveys the restaurants at a selection of the nation’s airports every year, looking for healthy food choices. It ranks airports based on the number of restaurants that have at least 1 healthy food choice on the menu.

At Miami International, 82 percent of the restaurants had at least 1 healthy choice in the 2011 survey, enough to tie for 6th place with Denver International Airport. That’s a big jump from just 4 years ago, when the same survey found only 67% of the MIA restaurants with at least one healthy food choice.

If having healthy food at the airport means a lot to you when you travel, then you need to find a reason to visit Detroit. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport has taken the top spot three years running, with 100% of the restaurants offering at least one healthy choice.

At the other end of the scale was an airport many of us are forced to visit, even if we’re traveling some place else. Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport ranked dead last, with just 71% of the restaurants offering a healthy choice. You’ll have to look harder to go healthy, or maybe bring your own.

To be fair, the standards for “healthy” are a little high. The PCRM defines it as a low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrée. While that may be the healthiest, there may be meat choices that qualify as pretty healthy food.

In the end, the idea is to measure the quality of airport food over time, and in that measure, it seems American travelers are seeing some improvements. According to the PCRM, the first survey 10 years ago found healthy choices on just over half of airport restaurant menus.

Veggie burger with that cafecito, anyone?

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