Nutrition: Tips to a healthful State Fair – Duluth News Tribune

Posted: August 30, 2017 at 5:43 am

Arguably the most important part of the Minnesota State Fair is the food. According to the Official State Fair Guide, there are more than 500 menu items with an additional 150 local craft brews and 25 Minnesota wines. Most of these items are high fat, high sugar, high sodium foods that are put on a stack and deep-fried. There are ways to attend the fair healthfully (well, relatively healthfully).

Indulge in special items. Yes, you read that right. There are certain items that only are available at the State Fair, and you should allow yourself to have those items. That means be mindful and don't waste calories on ordinary foods you can get any time of the year. Make the foods you most want to eat a priority and a special event.

Bring a large group of family and friends and share with. Keep in mind the law of diminishing returns: Often the more you eat of something the less pleasure you get from it. Your first and second bite are often the most enjoyable. If you're sharing food with others, it may help to limit portions to a bite or two while still being able to try many different foods.

Beverages can contain calories, and those calories can add up quickly. Twelve ounces of State Fair lemonade or 12 ounces of soda contains is approximately 160 calories. Let's be honest, who gets a 12-ounce lemonade? The size is often 32 ounces or larger, and 32 ounces is approximately 425 calories. Beer and wine also contain significant calories, about 150 calories per serving. Water is a refreshing and calorie-free option. You're welcome to bring a water bottle into the fairgrounds, and there are many free water-filling stations. There is even a relax and recharge station, where you can get free water, charge your cellphone and pick up some coupons.

Think globally. There are many international food options that are grilled or contain fresh ingredients. Try some grilled kebabs, hummus, gyros and fajitas. There are many fruit options available throughout the fair. Stop by Minnesota Apples for fresh apples or frozen apple cider. The Produce Exchange offers a wide variety of fresh fruit options, and Bayou Bob's has frozen grapes to help you cool off on a hot day.

If you follow a specific diet, consider stopping by the Health Fair 11 exhibit which is staffed by many organizations including the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota. They can help visitors safely navigate the fair.

Stay busy with nonfood related activities. Learn about where your food comes from by visiting grape, garlic and honey producers. Judge some crop art, ride some rides, climb the Department of Natural Resources fire tower or catch a concert.

Get out and enjoy the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Make the foods you eat special, avoid foods you're able to eat anytime; share with friends; and participate in all of the activities the fair has to offer, and you'll surely have a healthful and happy fair experience.

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Nutrition: Tips to a healthful State Fair - Duluth News Tribune

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