Eat This Not That: A Healthier Approach to Stadium Food

Healthy Eating Monday, April 28, 2014 Written by

Take me out to the ballgame? Great. Take me out with the crowd? No problem. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack? Not so fast.

Sure, eating greasy, calorie-laden nachos and garlic fries can feel like part of the fun of being at the stadium. But if you’re a sports fan who also likes to eat well, there’s no better place to be than the Northwest.

Both CenturyLink Field and Providence Park have added local food carts to their lineup, and Safeco Field has scored Seattle’s own Ethan Stowell as a culinary partner. Now you can experience the game while slurping local oysters, enjoying a sustainably-raised pork brat or munching on a grilled sockeye sandwich.

However, just because it tastes good doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Even many of the locally-sourced stadium offerings are fried, slathered with creamy sauces and cheese-ified. To take the guesswork out of eating at the game, we put together this handy list of stadium scores — and fouls — to help keep your stadium food calorie count in check.

Home Runs

Stadium Food
Brats & Dogs: For many, there’s nothing like a stadium hot dog. For Timbers fans, Providence Park offers sausages and hot dogs from local Oregon producer Zenner’s. At Safeco Field, vegetarian and vegan fans can enjoy meat-free Field Roast franks, burgers and even a vegan chili cheese dog. CenturyLink offers local sausage maker Uli’s Famous Sausage with a rotating selection that includes lower-fat chicken and veggie options.

Asian: At Safeco Field, pick up a tuna or cucumber roll for a healthy sushi bite (but steer clear from rolls with tempura, cream cheese or mayonnaise, which are loaded with saturated fat). At Providence Park, check out local food carts serving everything from Vietnamese pho to Thai stir-fry.

Pizza & Pie: Yes, pizza! Apizza at Safeco Field offers thin-crust, New Haven-style pizzas with healthier toppings. Try the white pizza loaded with veggies or a salad-topped “pizzetti.” At Providence Park, Portland’s own Pacific Pie Company offers handmade savory pies, including the vegetarian Timber Pie, stuffed with locally-grown, organic root vegetables and Oregon’s own Tillamook cheddar.

Seafood: It’s the Northwest, which means that seafood is always in the rotation. At CenturyLink and Safeco, grilled salmon sandwiches and salads are a good bet – just be judicious with creamy dressings and sauces. And new this year to Safeco, Ethan Stowell is offering oysters on the half shell (pass on the chips and remoulade) at Sound Seafood.


Stadium Food
Nachos: Fried chips, sodium-loaded cheese, greasy ground beef. There’s very little nutritional value in that lineup.

Garlic Fries: We know you love them, and it’s okay as an occasional indulgence (even better if you share), but really, it’s fries.

Decked-out Dogs: Battered corn dogs, nacho-topped foot-longs, and of course the cream-cheese slathered “Seattle Dog” are diet disasters. Stick with a locally-made sausage, skip the fattening toppings and call it good.

Fried… Anything: From classic French fries and wings to “healthy”-sounding fish-n-chips and oyster po-boys, fried food is laden with saturated fats. With so many other delicious—and healthy—options available, pass on the deep fry.