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Eat Healthy at the Ballpark—and Beyond

 


The joys of summer: baseball games, movies and carnivals. Not to mention hamburgers, ice cream and cotton candy! Eating when you’re having fun can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid your favorite pastimes. 

“My recommendation is to make sure you have something to eat before you go out because that’s the best defense against overdoing it,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.  High-fiber granola bars or protein-packed nuts are satisfying snacks.  But if you want to indulge in a treat during your outing, you can save calories by making smart choices. We’ve found the best and worst dishes for your waistline at these junk-food hot spots.

Ballpark

As if finding something healthy at baseball games weren’t hard enough, many parks are now offering all-you-can-eat seats, where the average person consumes a whopping 6,000 calories, according to Moore. These tickets, usually ranging from $30 to $55, allow fans to gorge on everything from peanuts to hot dogs. While this may sound like a deal for your wallet, it’s no good for your waistline! Instead, indulge in just one treat. 

Tempted by:

Large Nachos with Cheese (4oz):
Cal: 1,101
Fat: 59g
Carbs: 131g

Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae (10oz)
Cal: 880
Fat: 42g
Carbs: 121g


Try these smarter options:

Hot Dog with bun (4oz)
Cal: 309
Fat: 14g
Carbs: 33g

Snow Cone with 3oz Syrup
Cal: 270
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 68g

Carnival

Fair-food vendors fry everything from Twinkies to artichokes. Skip the grease and avoid foods smothered in fattening sauces or cheeses. Choose from a variety of fruit options such as watermelon wedges and chocolate-dipped bananas. 

Tempted by:

Cheese fries (10oz)
Cal: 644
Fat: 38g
Carbs: 63g

Funnel Cake (8oz)
Cal: 760
Fat: 44g
Carbs: 80g

Try these smarter options:

Corn on the cob (16oz)
Cal: 201
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 42g

Carmel Apple (9oz)
Cal: 298
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 73g

Food Court

If sticky weather causes you to retreat to the air-conditioned mall, don’t fall victim to food-court pitfalls.  Shopping works up an appetite, but beware of value meals and big serving sizes that cause you to eat more.  
 
Tempted by:

Chicken Caesar Salad (20oz)
Cal: 800
Fat: 57g
Carbs: 32g

Malt Shake (16oz)
Cal: 690
Fat: 33g
Carbs: 85g


Try these smarter options:

Chicken Breast Sandwich (4oz)
Cal: 280
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 31g

Fruit Smoothie (16oz)
Cal: 290
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 72g


Movie Theater

Seeing a film on the big screen often leads to consuming massive portions of popcorn, candy and soda. “If you’re going to get something, get the smallest size and split it with your date,” says Moore.  You can treat yourself to a movie snack without derailing your diet!

Tempted by:

Large Popcorn, no butter added (160oz)
Cal: 1,283
Fat: 78g
Carbs: 125g

M&M’s (5oz)
Cal: 750
Fat: 32g
Carbs: 107g

Try these smarter options:

Soft Pretzel (4oz)
Cal: 386
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 79g

Gummi Bears (4oz)
Cal: 130
Fat: 0g
Carbs: 30g