So we’re well aware that Oktoberfest is known for its overabundance of beer and Bavarian sausages. And that’s it’s one of the rowdiest, most celebrated events in the world; almost six million people travel to Munich each year for the main celebration, not to mention the millions of others who attend local events held concurrently in other countries.
While a healthy Oktoberfest sounds more like a paradox than an attainable goal, it is possible to make some basic healthy choices and still have a great time, no matter where you’re celebrating.
For starters, you don’t have to avoid beer at all costs. As with most things in life, moderation is key. And when you follow this rule, you might actually reap some health benefits from a brewski or two.
Don’t believe it?
According to research, beer can be a decent source of iron, fiber, and B vitamins, which aid various functions of the body including the nervous system, the heart, and the production of blood cells. It may even lower your risk of heart disease, strengthen your bones, and reduce your chances of developing kidney stones.
Unfortunately, beer at the Munich-based Oktoberfest is only served in a stein known as the Maß, which holds one liter of beer. That’s 33 ounces, or almost three 12-ounce beers. While going one over the two-beer limit isn’t horrible, you should try to stick to one stein a day.
Now that we’ve covered the drinking situation, let’s talk about food.
Fortunately, Bavarian cuisine, which is what you’ll mostly find at this traditional event, isn’t prepared in an unhealthy way. However, you should avoid the sausages and don’t over-do it on the pretzels. Instead, opt for rotisserie or grilled chicken, or the skewered grilled fish. Or, go for the new vegan dishes, which were added to this year’s festival menu to accommodate those with dietary restrictions.
When you aren’t eating or drinking, you should also walk around (walking = exercise!) and enjoy the rest of the celebration. In Munich, the 16-day festival includes amusement park rides, a variety of tents, children’s activities (yes, this can be a popular family event during the daytime), as well as music and car show performances. It’s easy to get caught up in the drinks and food, but there are other ways to enjoy Oktoberfest without sacrificing your health or your waistline. Although if you do — which we understand might happen — you should probably add an early-morning workout to your schedule.
Photo by oktoberfest-munchen.com.