So I recently posted about my first relaxing weekend this summer, consisting of farmer’s marketing, hiking, and relaxing. However, another fun summer experience I had this past weekend was heading out to the Ohio State Fair to see Weezer in concert (which was absolutely incredible I might add). Since moving to Columbus three years ago I have only been to the fair once and that’s just because I wanted to check out all the hype of the second largest state fair in the country. I will say this….it is huge! (please no “that’s what she said” jokes 😉 ) Especially for a girl who grew up going to small town county fairs her whole life. But really, big or small, a fair is a fair. You have great people watching, custom airbrushed t-shirts, rides that make you want to vomit, smelly animal barns, a guy that keeps wanting to guess how old I am, and every food imaginable placed on a stick and deep-fried. Mmmmm….the smell of artery-clogging food always means it’s fair time. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a cup of fair fries like the rest of you, but what’s with all the food on a stick? Can we Americans not manage to eat an Oreo, slice of pizza, or macaroni and cheese without it being placed on a stick and deep fried? When did fairs become a challenge for venders to create the highest calorie fried food?
Before you head out to indulge in a week’s worth of calories at your local fair this year, here’s the calorie breakdown of some of those treats you may be having. If you thought the usual corn dog, elephant ear and fries were bad, wait till you check out some of the new and unusual fried goodies, such as Twinkies, Oreos, Snickers bars, and even fried butter!
Deep fried candy bars: As if a Snickers didn’t contain enough calories, sugar and fat, lets throw it in some batter and fry it. One of these bars weighs in at around 700 calories! (FitSugar)
Funnel cake: This is an all time favorite and classic to many fairs. However, eating one will set you back about 760 calories. (Fit Sugar) And that’s without any toppings. My suggestion is offer to share one with a few friends if you are going to indulge.
Fried Mac and Cheese: Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? This cheesy pasta dish is a favorite among many….so why must we fry it? Depending on the fair’s serving size, this dish could set you back around 610 calories. (Fit Sugar)
Fried Oreos: I found a few different calorie counts for this one. It seems that one fried Oreo can range from 100-200 calories. (Fit Sugar)
Fair Fries: Servings vary, but even a “small” can run you around 400-500 calories. (Fit Sugar)
Fried Butter: Yes, unfortunately it’s true. There have been spottings of people placing a stick of butter into batter, frying it and serving it on a stick. This is just wrong, people. A stick of butter alone can have around 800 calories and 88 grams of fat! (Fit Sugar) Do I even need to calculate the battering and frying portion of it? This is just wrong. As a health professional, may I suggest that you save yourself the heart problems and forgo this option?
On that note, I know the fair only comes around once a year, so if you are normally a healthy eater and end up indulging in one of your favorite treats, you should be okay. However, most people do not eat healthy all year round. So when it comes to indulging, I recommend sharing a treat with a family member or friend.
If you are looking for healthy alternatives, follow my blog or visit my “healthy snack” post to get some yummy ideas!