Bar Food and You

Last month Seattle Times reporter Charles Stuart Platkin “helped” us decide which stadium foods are the healthiest—things like pizza and hotdogs. Don’t remember? Or did you just block that article from your memory. Here’s a refresher:
Hot dog vs. pizza vs. sausage and peppers
A regular hot dog with mustard is your best bet, totaling about 290 calories: 180 for the 2-ounce dog, 110 for the bun and virtually no calories for regular yellow mustard. Sauerkraut adds another 5-10 calories (2 tablespoons), ketchup adds 30 (2 tablespoons) and relish another 40 (2 tablespoons). Just be aware of the foot-long hotdogs sold at many stadiums, which can have double the calories in both frankfurter and bun, bringing the grand total to 580 without any toppings. Pizza at the stadium is a bit larger than a typical slice, about one-sixth of a 16-inch pie (rather than one-eighth), which comes to 435 calories per slice. And the sausage-and-pepper sandwich is about the same — 430 calories for 5 ounces, including the bun.
Well, Stewie’s at it again, this time he’s on a mission to prevent you from blowing up when you belly up at the bar. Brace yourself Eat to Livers, it’s about to get rough! Here are your choices, pick the best one, onion rings, French fries, garlic bread, buffalo wings, quesadillas, mozzarella sticks—the list goes on and on! It’s madness, what exactly is the “best” out of this list? Let’s see what Platkin suggests in one of his comparisons:
Mozzarella sticks vs. fried calamari vs. fried zucchini
Fried calamari usually comes in a hefty 3-cup serving — that's about 900 calories before you even start using the mayonnaise-based dipping sauce. And although each 1-ounce mozzarella stick has about 90 calories, you'll probably wind up eating at least four or five — and that's 360 to 450 calories.

The better choice is a 5-ounce serving of fried zucchini, which has 320 calories.
Okay, I’ll give the guy credit here, at least he picked something with some phytonutrients, but the zucchini has been fried to death. So I’m not even sure it’s worth eating. (And where does calamari come with mayonnaise?) Platkin’s system of food evaluation in this article is exactly the same as the previous article; food selections are based mainly on calorie content—as if that’s the only thing to consider!

No pun intended, but I don’t think this a healthy way of looking at. Calories aren’t the only thing to keep in mind. With that being said—and I’m putting my Eating to Live on the Outside hat on again—if the bar serves unsalted bar-nuts, I’d go with that. Regardless of calories, I’m not going anywhere near cheese, fried chicken, nachos, or whatever other garbage they serve. I’ll stick with the nuts, their calorie content, and their healthy fats. So phooey!

Then again, if you’re an Eat to Liver, what the heck would you be doing in a bar anyway?
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Jackie Danicki - November 2, 2006 6:50 PM

What, Eat to Live followers don't have social lives? I find that hard to believe.

Seriously, this is a big issue for someone who doesn't want to alienate themselves from friends and/or family members who like to drink. Especially here in Europe, a lot of social activities centre around the pub or wine bars. It's a fact of life. Becoming a hermit isn't a reasonable solution.

I think the best bet as far as bar snacks go would be a bowl of olives. (European-sized bowls are ramekin-sized, not cereal bowl huge.) Nuts in bars are usually roasted, not raw, so I avoid them. In the US, I wouldn't go near bar food unless I had already made up my mind to have a cheat day - those portions aren't 'snacks,' they are full-blown meals. A little of what you fancy does you good, but there's nothing little about the serving sizes in my homeland.

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