Going to the state fair is a fun, wholesome experience for the entire family. That is, until you catch a glimpse of the all common, state fair foods that are nothing more than a caloric nightmare, and two-steps short of triple bypass surgery. If only you knew the nutrition facts of that deep fried candy bar, you'd think twice about gorging at the next state fair. In case you were curious, here are 10 common state fair foods you should avoid:
You might be wondering how a simple, classic food like corn got on this list. Corn, by itself, is not so bad. Aside from being a starchy food commonly associated with a popular movie snack or as a side dish, corn actually has some great health benefits from its nutrients like:
Unfortunately, the state fair variety isn't so healthy, not with all the condiments that are generally slathered on top of an ear of corn. Butter, mayonnaise, salt and even cheese neutralize the potential health benefits of this summertime food. If you're looking for a healthy treat at the next state fair, grab a husk of corn, but make sure you have it plain.
How does one make a hot dog any less healthy than it already is? Turn it into a corn dog. These state fair favorites have been around for ages. Dipped in batter and deep fried till perfection, corn dogs are a surefire way to increase cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Most hot dogs, by themselves, are little sodium-filled grenades ready to explode in your body. Now imagine how bad a corn dog can be, or worse, a bacon-wrapped corn dog.
One of the most common, and most popular, foods one would expect to find at a fair is cotton candy. Whether it's pink, purple or blue, kids and adults alike love this sweet, fluffy concoction. The problem is many fail to realize they are eating giant sticks of colored sugar. Fortunately, cotton candy is made of mostly air, meaning there isn't as much sugar as there would appear to be in one serving.
Here's another state fair food that transforms something that was once healthy, into something that is bad for you in more ways than one. Caramel apples are sweet, crunchy, savory and delicious. They are also loaded with sugar and calories, destroying the potential health benefits of what was once a low calorie, metabolism boosting food.
Pies are just another example of how most things that taste so good, are typically very bad for you. A state fair isn't a state fair without a pie-eating contest. Many state fairs also have pie-tasting contests to see who has the best homemade recipe. While some pies utilize nutritious fruits like strawberries or blueberries, these baked delicacies are far from healthy. Packed with sugary jams and covered in butter, a simple slice can potentially take up one-third of a person's daily recommended caloric intake. On a day of fun, a slice of pie is acceptable for a weekend indulgence, but entering a pie-eating contest is a whole other story. Oh, and in case you were wondering, say "no" on the whipped cream.
Like many other fried foods, funnel cake is one of those classic staples that are just hard to find anywhere else outside of a state fair. Their unique shape combined with the warm and crispy, yet fluffy texture along with the savory sweet taste are enough to make you go on a funnel cake binge. Just watch out because all that deep fried goodness and sweet sugar can be really, really bad for your health.
It's the leg of a turkey, only giant. Doesn't sound too bad, right? But according to WebMD, a giant turkey leg can have up to 1,136 calories and 54 grams of fat. In that case, you better be sharing that giant turkey leg with another person, or at least be some sort of giant yourself.
While a cup of a beer isn't so bad, state fair visitors who like to spend the entire day eating and drinking often down much more beer than they normally should. Do yourself a favor and try to limit yourself to one or two cups for the day to avoid the harmful effects of alcohol on your body.
For the record, practically anything deep fried at the state fair is bad. This whole list could have been comprised entirely of deep fried foods you're likely to see at the fair like:
The list can go on forever as more and more state fair food vendors look for intuitive ways to tempt fair attendees with unique and disgustingly delicious creations. However, one fried invention should top them all - deep fried butter. Now that's some artery-clogging goodness that will get you a one-way ticket to a heart attack or stroke.