JACKSON, Miss. – Can you eat healthy at the state fair?
The question alone is somewhat of an oxymoron, but there might be a few ways to avoid the annual fair calorie bomb.
According to University of Mississippi Medical Center Assistant Professor of Nursing Josie Bidwell, however, it’s a tough task. “It’s the fair!” She said. “A place that asks, ‘How shocking can we be with food? What all can we fry?’”
UMMC professionals chimed in on the argument and came up with three things you should try to do if you decide to grab a bite at the fair: ignore the fried, go for the proteins, and share.
Bidwell says she likes to stick with the classics. “The grilled corn is always an option that I go for, but just tell them you don’t want it dipped in butter,” she said.
Fair foods are notorious for pouring on loads of butter, salt or sugar.
Dr. Joshua Mann, is professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, and agrees. “The issue is that on face value, a few of these things look reasonable. The problem is that it’s impossible to know how much butter or salt is on them,” he said. “The safest thing is to assume that nothing there is good for you.”
If you do decide to partake in the fairs delicious dishes, try sharing. It can help you cut back on costs and calories.
According to Mann, “Share with someone so that you won’t eat it all yourself…Some of the things I’ve seen people sell come in huge portions, like the funnel cakes and even the cotton candy.”
Finally, the folks at UMMC all agree, if you have to grab a drink, stay away from the sugary sodas and instead go for the water or an un-sweet tea.