The Diet Detective: Eating at the Stadium

Whether you go to watch baseball, football, hockey or basketball, there is nothing like spending the day at the stadium. No matter if your team wins or loses, you can forget about everything else for the moment and immerse yourself in the experience. Part of the fun, of course, is the food you eat while enjoying the game, and I'm certainly not going to ruin it by telling you not to eat—or to bring along a bag of baby carrots.

However, I do believe some foods, like the doughnut burger (basically a Krispy Kreme doughnut sliced in half and used as a bun to hold a burger, a pile of cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon) that's served at one minor league baseball team's concession stand, ought to be avoided at all cost if you're trying to eat healthfully.

That one ought to be a no-brainer, but some of the other better&mdashs;or worse—snacks may be less obvious, so here's the lowdown on what you need to know:

Cracker Jack vs. Cotton Candy

Cotton candy is just sugar that's been heated, colored and spun into threads with added air. Cotton candy on a stick (about one ounce) has 105 calories, but when bagged (two ounces) it has double that number: 210. Cracker Jack is basically candy-coated popcorn with some peanuts scattered throughout. A stadium-size box has 3.5 ounces and 420 calories, so the cotton candy is clearly a better deal. If you must buy Cracker Jack, you may be happy to know that the box at least has seven grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber.

More: How to Choose Healthy Snacks

Hamburger vs. Chicken Sandwich

A six-ounce hamburger with a bun has about 490 calories without even counting cheese or other toppings. A six-ounce grilled chicken sandwich has only 280 calories—a much better deal. Another alternative, and an even healthier choice, is the four-ounce turkey burger offered at many of the stadiums serviced by Aramark Sports & Entertainment. At only 147 calories, it's a great bargain. At some stadiums, Aramark also offers salads with a choice of light dressings, including light creamy Italian, country French, ranch and fat-free honey Dijon.

More: Skinny BBQ Turkey Burger

Chicken Tenders vs. Wrap Sandwich

A typical wrap sandwich (six ounces) has 345 calories and is usually the smarter choice, depending on the ingredients. Six ounces of chicken tenders, on the other hand, have 446 calories, not even including the barbecue dipping sauce, which can have as much as 30 calories per tablespoon.

More: 10 Ways to Eat Healthy at the BBQ Shack

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