It’s time to swing into Spring, baseball and ball park visits. While you are keeping track of hits, runs and errors, let’s look at the statistics of the typical ballpark food.
Don’t be thrown a curveball when it comes to fueling yourself. Look below to find your own sweet spot when it comes to balancing taste, preference and health.
So let’s start where the song ends “Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care of I ever come back…” Great iconic song and actually great advice. Peanuts are high on the list of foods to choose when at the game.
Peanuts (1 oz.)
Peanuts have more protein than any other nut—7 grams per serving and peanuts have over 30 essential vitamins and nutrients.
Peanuts are full of unsaturated fats, the good fats for your body and a positive when it comes to heart health. In fact, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Antioxidants are found in the skin of peanuts—which, when you buy that great bag and shell your own, you are getting the whole, roasted wonderful peanut-and all the nutrients it has to offer. This is the ultimate unprocessed whole food snack at the field.
Cotton Candy (1 bag, 28g)
Primarily sugar, after eating cotton candy there is a good chance you will soon crash and then crave something else, most likely high in sugar as well.
Cracker Jacks (1/2 cup, 28g)
Fat 2 g fat
Sugars 15 g
Yes, this treat has peanuts, but the popcorn part is covered in syrup and sugar! Still, enforced portion control provides fewer calories, fat and carbohydrates than a small popcorn! When buying a whole bag, the stats get much better if shared.
Buttered Popcorn (1/2 size small, 4.5 cups)
Air-popped popcorn is a nutritious whole-grain snack. But things can get out of control fast when lots of oil, butter and salt are added.
At Yankee Stadium a jumbo popcorn has 1,484 calories—70 percent of most people’s 2,000-calorie daily needs. Stadium popped popcorn is high in fat and carbohydrates and just one serving (1/2 a small size) gives you 10 percent of your daily value of sodium.
Peanuts and baseball have a long history together and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the delicious smell of roasting peanuts in the air, peanuts have the combination of good fats, fiber and protein to keep you satisfied through the 7th inning stretch.
Article written by Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N., FACSM. Considered a thought leader in nutrition, Heidi has influenced millions through her media work, writing and thriving consulting business, Nutrition Conditioning. She has worked with the professional basketball, football and baseball teams in New York, as well as NHL, MLS, WNBA, Olympic competitors, professional cyclists, marathoners, and collegiate athletes.