Mile high club sandwiches. - KMOV.com

Mile high club sandwiches.

It's not hard to pack on a couple extra pounds in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.

All the partying, feasting, drinking and lounging around in warm woolen sweaters can wreak havoc on one's metabolism.

So the more diet-conscious folks among us are looking for ways to cut calories every way they can. That includes while flying to your holiday destinations.

Thankfully, the folks at dietdetective.com researched and ranked the meal choices on some of the most popular airlines.

Here's what they had to say...

United Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful. United is proud of its offerings, and willing to share the information.

Health Score: (***1/2) United still has the best variety and most healthful offerings. The only negative is that the snack boxes are not offered on flights of less than three hours. If you're traveling more than five hours, they offer snack boxes, fresh salads and sandwiches, but the sandwiches and salads are not nearly as health-oriented as the snack boxes. It would be nice if many of the mayo-based sauces were optional on the sandwiches and wraps.

Continental Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful.

Health Score: (****) Continental provides a low-calorie, high-impact meal.

Midwest Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful. Midwest takes its food seriously, and it shows.

Health Score: (***) There are some reasonably good "real" meal choices, but those famous fresh-baked on-board cookies can hurt: They're 120 calories each. And the individual snacks are unreasonably large portions.

Delta Air Lines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful. It took a lot of work, even calling the top brass at the airlines, but finally the head of media communications called back and provided the requested information.

Health Score: (***) The snack choices are not great; however if you're on a flight that is 4 1/2 hours or more there is an EATS Menu (created by famed chef Todd English) that allows you to purchase real food with some decent choices. Plus, Delta is moving away from the snack boxes and will provide the EATS Menu on most flights. Good for them -- a big improvement over last year.

JetBlue Airways

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful.

Health Score: (**1/2) The individually-packaged snacks are portion-controlled; however, you can ask for as many as you want, and many people do.

American Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful.

Health Score: (**1/2) No more snack boxes. The individually packaged snacks are oversized and have mega calories. These snacks should be for a family, not one person. They really are a disaster, but the real meals American offers for flights over three hours aren't bad.

US Airways

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful. They started out not being helpful, but one PR person there really worked hard to gather all the information.

Health Score: (**1/2) There are some decent choices in the snack box, but overall the choices could use a health tune-up. On flights under 2.5 hours they offer only pretzels; not much nutrition there, but at least they're not too high in calories.

Northwest Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Not very helpful. It took a bit of work, but finally, after calling and e-mailing, some information was provided. This is the comment from the Northwest spokesperson: "Essentially, we don't keep track of nutritional values for our menus." Well, considering all the surveys showing that people want this information, maybe they should.

Health Score: (**) There are snacks sold individually and a Snack Box. Both choices are relatively high in calories.

Southwest Airlines

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat helpful.

Health Score: (**) Not much variety, and not much in terms of nutritional value. The snack pack is offered on flights of 2.5 hours or more.

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