The 9 Things It’s OK to Eat (and Drink) on a Cruise

Keep your body healthy and your mind in check by balancing a healthy diet on vacation

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Fresh melon is hydrating, filling, and will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Staying healthy on vacation is a task in and of itself. But staying healthy when the most decadent foods and delicious drinks are right at your fingertips is quite a test of willpower. Instead of focusing on foods you should avoid, redirect your attention to delicious, healthy foods that you can enjoy. Vacation is about relaxation, and you want food to be the least of your worries.

Click here for the 9 Things It’s OK to Eat on a Cruise slideshow.

Leah Kaufman, registered dietitian, suggests limiting how much food you consume and being mindful of what you are consuming. “Drinking water while on the cruise keeps you healthy and hydrated,” Kaufman says. “These days, cruise ships usually have full gyms. Going to the gym or a fitness class is a great way to get some exercise and even meet new people. If your cruise does not have a gym, walk the length of the ship a few times to get those steps in!”

Staying healthy on a cruise means finding balance. Kaufman suggests practicing the 80 to 20 rule. “Choose the meals ahead of time where you may want to try that dessert or bread basket, and skip out on cheating for other meals. I use the 80 to 20 rule, where you are healthy for 80 percent of the time and then treat yourself for 20 percent of the time.” That way, you can enjoy simple indulgences and nourish yourself with whole foods the rest of the time.

Kaufman urges cruisers to focus on hydration and limit sugary alcoholic beverages. Cruises are a perfect time to walk away from food and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take time to relax, read a book, and float along. To help you sail without a care, we compiled a list of things that should be on your plate morning, noon, and night.


Photo modified: Flickr / Hafiz Issadeen / CC BY 4.0

Eating or drinkng coconut is the perfect way to stay hydrated on a cruise.

“These days, coconut is everywhere,” Kaufman says.  “Coconuts are low in carbs and high in fiber, as they contain four grams of dietary fiber in one portion. Coconuts are also so versatile — you can have them in your morning yogurt, as a sweet snack, or even just drink the juice right out of the fruit.”


Photo modified: Flickr / brownpau / CC BY 4.0

Fish is a healthy option that contains lean protein and healthy fats.


"There is never a limit of fish around when you are out at sea," Kaufman says. "You always want to make sure that one-fourth of your plate is devoted to protein and fish is a great, low-calorie option to fulfill this need. Go for white flaky fish, shrimp, or scallops as these are lower in calories and high in omega-3s."