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Race Week Nutrition

March 11, 2014 — , , , , , , , ,

So we all know what is happening this week, correct? If not, take a drive by the Bristol Motor Speedway and you will easily figure it out. It’s finally time for the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 and the Food City 500 at BMS! Thousands of campers are traveling as we speak to the Last Great Coliseum to experience Bristol, no doubt a memory that will last a lifetime. As we all know, camping and tailgating food are a big part of race week. I hear the groans now… because you should be able to see where this blog is going. Oh yes, I’m going to talk about the difficult subject of… good nutrition…during race week! (I am a nutrition student after all). Challenge accepted!

Remember how I said in the previous blog that adequate nutrition has been proven to be very effective in preventing diseases? In this blog, we are going to focus on food safety and the prevention of foodborne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans (48 million people) get sick and 128,000 are hospitalized because of foodborne illnesses. To give you an idea of how many people that is, keep in mind when you sit at the Last Great Coliseum that maximum capacity is roughly 160,000 people. That is a LOT of sick people!

Let’s make sure you all stay well this race week! There are a few key things that campers and tailgaters need to remember to prevent foodborne illnesses. Making sure your food is properly stored after purchase is the most important component to preventing foodborne illnesses. When grilling your food, do NOT rely solely on sight, smell, or taste.  Use a food thermometer to check the temperature and constantly check your food. Each time you check the temperature of the food, make sure to wash the thermometer. Doing these simple tasks can prevent very harmful foodborne illnesses. Not sure what temperature to cook your food? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has created an app for your smart phone that will provide safe cooking temperatures AND food storage guide for every food imaginable. Best part? It’s a FREE app! Click here to download: http://www.homefoodsafety.org/app

Here are just a few extra speedy tips to remember this week. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has determined that there can be an increase in fluid loss by consuming drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol. So while consuming these drinks, be sure to drink water as well. Dehydration can be an easy fix! Pick up some water bottles along with your other beverages while you’re at Food City so you can enjoy your camping and tailgating experience to the fullest. Also remember that grilling and tailgating is also a part of the fun! Don’t beat yourself up for indulging a little. Eating should be enjoyable! All food is okay in MODERATION!

Be sure to check the schedule of events on the Food City and BMS websites. Can’t wait to see y’all this week!

Stay healthy and eat happy!

Kayla Neikirk

Miss Food City

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