Published on August 02, 2017

Eat Smart At The Fair


If it can be fried, or put on a stick, you’ll find it this week at the Mississippi Valley Fair and later this month at Iowa and Illinois state fairs.

Cookies, candy bars, cheese, hot dogs, snack cakes and onions can all be drenched in a thick batter and fried in oil.

Tastes are as much a part of attending a fair as sights and sounds but overindulging in high-calorie, high-fat  foods over a lifetime can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Around every corner of a fair there is some new treat, but if you stop for one of the treats, you’re going to need to keep walking around the fair for a few hours to burn off the calories.

An example is that fried onion blossom calling your name. It has 1,320 calories and 72 grams of fat. The fried Twinkie is 420 calories and a funnel cake is 760 calories.

Walking off the calories of the onion blossom if you eat it all yourself will require four hours at a medium pace.

Instead of deep-friend items, looked for grilled chicken or steak, corn on the cob or fruit.  Look for a plain pretzel.

There are several strategies, according to Genesis dietitians, for avoiding taking in more calories than you can walk off on a day at the fair.

•    Eat before you go. You’ll be able to resist foods easier if you’re not hungry.

•    Don’t go it alone. Share the funnel cake, fried cheese curds or turkey leg (1,136 calories) with others.

•    Eat a regular meal. Don’t just snack your way around the fair. Sit down and have a meal at mealtime. There are sit-down options at most fairs run by local youth organizations, restaurants or churches.

•    Skip the soda. Instead of a mega-container of sugary soda, try the fresh-squeezed juice or lemonade, ice tea or a bottle of water.

•    Listen to your body. Don’t be tricked by how good everything looks and smells. Eat only when you are hungry.

If you are about to make a stop at a food stand, you might want to first check out www.calorieking.com for nutritional information about dozens of popular fair foods.

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