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Posted on 06-08-2012

Good morning Redding!

Summer is synonymous with heading out to the ballpark and enjoying your favorite team play ball. Ballparks are known for serving hotdogs, peanuts, ice cream and much more. But your trip to the game doesn't have to take you away from your healthy eating goals. Check out below to see the rundown on ballpark favorites and healthier options.

The Big Dogs
The "Champion Dog" made its grand debut this season at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  The Champion Dog is a one-pound hot dog-and that's just the meat. Additional calories from the bun and toppings can include cheese, chili, sautéed onions, fries and more. This two-foot dog is intended to feed three to four people, but there is a badge of honor attached to the completion of the whole dog by one individual. With the completion of the "Champion Dog", you could consume approximately 1500 calories and 130 grams of fat, not to mention about 50 grams of saturated fat. Now, even if you're not good with numbers, you can see the benefit of sharing this dog with at least four people.

The majority of the options on the ballpark menu are more than 1,000 calories per serving.  Here are a couple of the calorie counts on ballpark favorites:

Fresh soft pretzel: 630 calories
Regular cheese nachos: 1,500 calories
Ice Cream Helmet Cups: 550-590 calories
Stadium popcorn: often more than 2,000 calories
Garlic fries: 500 calories
Italian Sausage: 700 calories
Pizza (two slices): around 780 calories

Keep it Healthy
You can browse team websites for information on the concession stand offerings. Many ballparks are starting to serve healthier options. Here are a few at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington that can save you calories, offer heart healthy fats, and provide complex carbohydrates rich in fiber:

  • Centerfield Marketplace (located by the left-centerfield seats) - salads, sandwiches with turkey deli meat, fresh fruit and BBQ fare

  • Healthy Bite - chicken, veggie, guacamole, black bean burrito

  • Build you own burrito bowl

  • Fill your own fruit cup

  • Baked potato

  • Veggie hot dog

  • Red beans and rice

  • Chicken Caesar salad with light dressing

  • Diamond Club buffet - build your own salad, chicken, fish and veggies

  • The "Kid Stand" - find smaller-sized hot dogs, sandwiches, fruit, fruit juice and milk

Try these nutritious swaps and feel great about your eating choices when watching your favorite team.

Many ballparks allow you to bring your own food inside (with the exception of aluminum cans and beer). This will help limit the temptations that come when you are confronted on an empty stomach. If you are not able bring your healthy food to the game, eat before you go and try to make only one trip to the concession stand.

That said GO GIANTS! : )  ....have a blessed weekend!

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