Baseball game snacks will do more than just put a hole in your wallet; they’re likely to wreak havoc with your diet, too
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How Many Calories Are in Your Ballpark Snacks?
Undeniably one of the highlights of going to the game is eating ballpark snacks. After all, the song does say, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.” But you may want to consider instead bringing your own food from home, because the calorie counts of classic ballpark snacks, from hot dogs and chili cheese fries to beer and salty peanuts, really do add up.
When you’re talking ballpark calorie counts, don’t forget everyone’s favorite game day libation. An average 12-ounce can of beer has 153 calories, which doesn’t sound so bad, but most stadiums will sell you 16-ounce, 24-ounce, and even 32-ounce cups of brew. You’ll also want to stay away from these especially unhealthy 12-ounce beers: Heineken (166 calories), Sierra Nevada (176 calories), and Samuel Adams Boston Lager (180 calories).
Chili Cheese Fries
You knew this one was going to be bad. Sinfully delicious fries topped with nacho cheese and chopped meat can’t exactly be healthy. We don’t know exactly what your local ballpark will be serving, but Applebee’s chili cheese fries, for instance, are a whopping 629 calories, according to Calorie King, while a plate of chili cheese fries from Steak n Shake is 790 calories.
This fried ballpark treat, often spotted at carnivals, may not be quite as synonymous with baseball as its cousin, the classic hot dog, but it’s still popular. According to the USDA, the average corn dog is 460 calories, while the smaller Nathan’s corn dog on a stick, an option sold at Yankee Stadium and many other ballparks, is only 380 calories.
Popular with kids, these sweet fluffballs don’t seem to be made anything but air and sugar, and you’re mostly correct. One serving of cotton candy will only cost you 220 calories, but contains an alarming 56 grams of sugar. That’s more than twice the daily recommended dosage.
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When it comes to ballpark snacks, it seems that the way to go is the classic. Cracker Jack is made simply from caramel-coated popcorn and candied peanuts, and a regular box only contains 120 calories and 15 grams of fat. Compared to chili cheese fries, Cracker Jack is a home run.
Hot dogs, along with beer, are definitely the snack of choice for hungry ballpark fans. But hot dogs vary wildly when it comes to nutritional content. Your run of the mill Nathan’s hot dog is 290 calories (and that’s not counting the toppings). The healthiest hot dogs you can get are Oscar Meyer’s extra-lean cut at 50 calories each, if your ballpark carries them.
Nachos is a generic term for chips with cheese and toppings, which run the gamut when it comes to calorie count. But if you’re talking about generic corn chips with melted nacho cheese and salsa, which is what ballparks usually serve, one order will set you back around 595 calories.
Ah yes: the other classic ballpark snack besides Cracker Jack. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to nutritional value, peanuts (as long as they’re lightly salted and not candy-coated), are a softball. A serving size of peanuts (one ounce) is 160 calories, and even though 125 of those calories are from fat, peanuts are generally really healthy for you, even in butter form.
Sausage and Peppers Sub
Feeling hungry? You may want to go for this Italian-American favorite, but it will cost you a whopping 859 calories for one sandwich. In this case, the Italian bread and fatty pork sausage really set you back. If that concerns you, you may want to skip out on the roll and just eat the insides of the sandwich.
While hard pretzels are not too unhealthy for you, the average soft pretzel contains 389 calories, according to the USDA. And if you go for the decadent Auntie Anne’s pretzels, which are dripping in butter, you’ll end up eating 340 calories and 990 milligrams of sodium.