August tends to be the time for the state fair. Paired with these joyous summertime event are the fun foods served, which mostly lean on the heavy, calorie-rich side. Each year, states roll out their new food offerings for the state fair. Needless to say, these choices do not include fresh fruits and vegetables that I, as a dietitian, would love to see. Instead, states seem to try to outdo each other with who can deep fry to most unique foods…some of which that are already full of fat just by itself. I am all about foods in moderation, but some of these options can be considered cardiac arrest on a stick or in a bowl.
Below I have highlighted some of the more unique offerings at California and Iowa State Fairs…some of which range between 150-1000 calories each.
- Deep fried grilled cheese: It sounds just like it reads…a grilled cheese tossed it grease and fried.
- Deep fried red velvet cake with frosting: This tasty dessert is made more complex by dipping it some hot oil.
- Chocolate covered bacon: If you’re a lover of bacon and chocolate, you can get both your treats in one sitting.
- Nothing Spared Fair Square: This unique treat is made with marshmallows, crisped rice cereal, pretzels, chips, Oreos, toffee and M&M’s and satisfies your sweet and salty cravings.
- Carrot cake funnel cake: Well, at least you get a bit of Vitamin A with your fried dough.
- Deep fried pickle “dawgs”: This is a twist on the corndog, but instead uses your classic pickled cucumber instead.
Unfortunately, we as health professionals cannot forbid our clients/patients and the public to forgo ever trying these types of foods. People love to try the new and exciting options at events such as fairs. Since we do not want to be known as the food police or fun killers, what we can do instead is educate our clients on limiting eating these calorie-rich foods to special occasions and balance it out with healthier, non-fried options more often. Education, as you well know, is power.