State fair food. How unhealthy?

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State fair food booths are famous for deep-frying most anything—even butter. It’s not unusual for a single serving to hit 500 or even 1,000 calories, with dozens of grams of fat.


As unlikely as it may sound, it is possible to get a taste of a state fair without overindulging, says Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic specialist in nutrition and preventive medicine.

•  Give yourself a good start and eat something healthy before you go. Have some fruit to start the day or a salad before you go in the afternoon.

•  Work off the extra calories through walking, which is easy to do at the fair.

•  Burn off extra calories by getting in an extra workout or two, before or after the fair.

•  Decide ahead of time how much and what you’ll indulge in. If you have a plan, you’re less likely to overeat. Turkey legs on the midway or dairy barn homemade ice cream? Pick one and plan ahead.

•  Split portions with family or friends. This will not only help decrease calorie intake, but also lets you enjoy more tastes and may help to save money.

•  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and aid the digestive process. Stay away from non-diet soda. It’s loaded with calories and sugar and has no nutritional benefit. Drink water instead.

•  Don’t panic if you overindulge. Return to your normal eating routine the next day.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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