Eating Better at the Ballgame

Eating Better at the Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ball Game, But Leave the Calories at the Stadium

Eating fewer calories and eating better at the ballpark can be challening. Here are some thoughts are how to do it.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August, 2010 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

If the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame was written today, it may sound like:
“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack… and a hot dog, and loaded nachos, and a pretzel, and a beer, and ice cream”

Ball Park Foods On A Diet

Finger Licking Ballpark Foods: The Dieter’s Nightmare

Busch Stadium may truly be a dieter’s nightmare in disguise. You can have the intention of going to the game and sticking to your diet, getting nothing but a bottle of water, but we all know that this kind of willpower is rare.
Before the game, ballpark food may not even sound that appealing.
But suddenly, it happens:
You are overcome with uncontrollable cravings for greasy ballpark food… Something draws you to the concession stand, despite knowing that this choice is going to throw your diet out the window for the day.
You’re in line looking at your best “healthy” option, justifying what you’re going to order. The next thing you know, you’re walking away with the loaded nachos and a beer (at least you sprung for low cal).

Ballpark Food Calories

The Ugly Truth: The Reality of How Quickly Those Ballpark Calories Can Add Up

So, my plan is to prepare (or guilt) you into what not to eat at the stadium. Below are the cold hard facts, the nutritional facts on your favorite baseball stadium foods.  I’m not going to say “eat this, not that”, because frankly, you’re adults, you can choose what you want. HOWEVER, don’t come crying to us when all of a sudden your jeans are a little tighter (and don’t blame it on the dryer, it didn’t shrink them).

Hot Dog (6.4 oz)

Calories: 464
Total Fat: 21g
Sat. Fat: 7g
Cholesterol: 45mg
Total Carbs: 50
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 16g

Small Popcorn (9 cups)

Calories: 573
Total Fat: 35g
Carbs: 56g
Protein: 8.6g

Large Popcorn (15 cups)

Calories: 951
Total Fat: 58g
Total Carbs: 93g
Protein: 14.3g

Soft Pretzel (5.5 oz, no cheese)

Calories: 488
Total Fat: 3.4g
Sat. Fat: 1g
Sodium: 557mg
Carbs: 101g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5g
Sugar: 30.2g
Protein: 12.4g

Cheeseburger: (8.3 oz)

(not the Angus burgers from Hardee’s)
Calories: 450
Total Fat: 23g
Sat. Fat: 7g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Sodium: 1250mg
Total Carbs: 33g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 23g

Nachos (40 chips, 4oz cheese)

Calories: 1101
Total Fat: 59g
Sat. Fat: 18.5g
Cholesterol: 58mg
Sodium: 1580mg
Total Carbs: 131.5
Dietary Fiber: 7.5g
Sugars 1g
Protein: 23.6

Peanuts with shell (4 cups)

Calories: 1280
Total Fat: 96g
Sat. Fat: 16g
Sodium: 1680mg
Total Carbs: 56g
Dietary Fiber: 24g
Sugar: 7g
Protein 7g

Controlling Calories at the Ballpark

How Can You Avoid Dieter’s Disaster at the Ballpark?

My best advice to avoid this disaster is to come to the ballgame prepared:
Bring your own healthy food and drinks in a softback cooler. It will be easier to combat those cravings if you aren’t starving. Plus, you’ll save a lot of money this way.

*Nutritional information from
**The nutritional information is based on the average ballpark food and isn’t necessarily an exact reflection of the food at Busch Stadium

~ Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

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Learn more about Kimberly, the author of this post.