Dodging Nutritional Nightmares at the Fair
This article was originally published on July 10, 2012 and expired on August 21, 2012. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.
Summer is certainly here and so are the county fairs, state fairs, hometown carnivals and festivals. Deep fried candy bars, onion blossoms, and fried cheese curds are a "must-have" for some, but nutritional nightmares for cardiologists. "Some of these foods have more fat and calories than what a person should consume for the entire day," says Jenna Smith, University of Illinois Extension Educator.
"Eating healthy at the fair may sound like an oxy-moron", says Smith, "but healthy options do exist." Rather than a fried pork tenderloin sandwich, for example, choose a grilled pork loin sandwich or even a pork-chop-on-a-stick. Roasted corn on the cob can be a good side dish. Just ask them not to dip it in the large pail of butter. Instead, add a little seasoning for a less messy and a less greasy treat. Do you have a sweet tooth? Forgo the funnel cake, which depending on size could have approximately 800 calories and 45 grams of fat. Choose apples with caramel dip instead. Even cotton candy would be a better choice. Although it is high in sugar, a 2 oz serving has approximately 220 calories and 0 grams of fat.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to completely abstain from getting your funnel cakes, corn dogs, or other favorite treat that you've been thinking about all year. "You don't have to deprive yourself, but you should limit yourself from over-indulging," says Smith. Pick one or two of your favorite treats and one or two of your favorite friends to share it with. Most servings are far greater than an actual serving size. By sharing with a friend you will satisfy your craving without the feeling of over-doing-it. Also, don't let yourself come to the fair starving. Eat a healthy snack before leaving so you're not tempted to overeat. You can even try making some of those fair favorites at home, but with fewer calories. Instead of a strawberry crepe, try this recipe for a strawberry tortilla.
With tasty temptations lurking around the fairgrounds, you may think it is impossible to eat healthy at the fair. However, healthy options do exist. You just may have to search for them!
Strawberry Wrap (Serves 1)
1 (8-inch) flour tortilla
1 Tablespoon low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
Microwave tortilla for 10-20 seconds, just until slightly warm. Mix together cream cheese and honey or sugar. Spread cream cheese and honey mixture on tortilla. Top cream cheese with strawberries. Roll tortilla and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 170 Calories, 6 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 90 milligrams sodium
Source: Jenna Smith, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness, email@example.com
Pull date: August 21, 2012