If we're being honest, none of us goes to the fair - be it Canyon County or Western Idaho - with healthy eating in mind.
Fairs offer every food we're supposed to be wary of. And it's often covered in chocolate, deep fried, dipped in butter, or rolled in powdered sugar.
The artery-hardening menu items are endless. Such classics include funnel cake and corn dogs, and new, incredible concoctions like a deep fried oreo burger, pulled pork parfait even fried butter. These are highly tasty and also high in sugar and fats.
While indulgent, you can do a number on your body in just one day at the fair. To give you an idea of what's actually on your plate, here's a fair food survival guide:
What that means: The sugar in cheesecake combined with the oil in batter make for a bad combination. A fried cheesecake gives you 0 healthy nutrients but packs a whopping 655 calories. That's over a quarter* of your daily recommended calorie intake in just a few bites.
*Based on recommendations for a 19- to 30-year-old moderately active woman, according to the US Department of Agriculture's 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
What that means: We already know this is a heart attack on a stick. It's fewer calories than a fried cheesecake, and has some protein and carbs to round it out. But it is still a hefty amount of empty calories in one tiny bar.
What that means: You need to be careful how many you pick up. They're nearly 400 calories a pop and that's without condiments.
What that means: Funnel cake is one of those not-to-be missed items at a fair, so try to keep your fat intake down by splitting one with a friend. Their fun shape makes them perfect for sharing.
What that means: Truth is, this enormous-sized piece of meat is as loaded with fat as it is with protein. Plus, it racks up more than half your daily calorie amount. If it's on your unmissable list, try sharing it's hard to finish a full one, anyway. Or just throw away the excess once you're full to cut down on the damage.
Minimizing Fair Food Damage
Indulging in a state fair's smorgasboard of giant, sugary, fatty, and fried foods is a given. Sometimes, it's the whole reason we go.
To assume you'll say “No” to everything unhealthy is unrealistic, but you can take some steps to make sure you'll come back without a ton of fat or sugar to exercise off.
- Don't repeat too many fried foods. Stick to one or two snacks, but don't go all out. Feeling uncomfortably full of oily dough is unpleasant, anyway.
- Keep moving. State fairs allow plenty room for walking. You can burn some of the calories you're ingesting by spending time walking the grounds.
- Look for tasty but low-calorie foods. They may be few and far between at a state fair, but items like unbuttered popcorn, watermelon bites, and water are good for you.
Nutrition is important, but it can be tricky. If you have a medical condition and are worried about getting proper nutrition, talk to your doctor about a referral to a dietitian at West Valley Medical Center.