Infographic: The Amazing World of Fair Nutrition

It’s that time of year again – time for county and state fairs, which means munching on lots of interesting food. Fair food is generally loaded with tons of calories and fat, but did you know there are ways to keep the calories down to a minimum? “Ask for an extra plate and share your food choices. This way, you can taste a variety of foods without doing too much damage,” according to an article on WebMD. Now, before heading out to the fair, check out what’s really in your favorite foods.

Fair Nutrition infographic, described in detail below.

Below the introduction, we have a brightly-colored infographic titled “The Amazing World of Fair Nutrition!”

Think you know a fair share about fair fare? You may be surprised to find out there’s a lot you didn’t know. Step right up and witness the incredible nutrition facts in some of the most popular state and county fair food items. (Photographed at the 2013 Orange County Fair in California.)

Let’s start with a photo of a crispy, juicy Giant Turkey Leg, which comes in at 19 ounces. On average, this “healthy” meat option, which offers you zero grams of carbohydrates and 89 grams of protein, also gives you 633 calories, 28.5 grams of total fat, 9.5 grams of saturated fat, and 1,900 milligrams of sodium.

Next, we find ourselves with a paper boat filled with four batter-covered Deep-fried Oreos. These four Oreos alone will land you with 712 calories, 39 grams of total fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, 86 grams of carbohydrates, and 758 milligrams of sodium – although you will get 7 grams of protein from them.

For those looking to combine sweet and savory, we have a Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich – yes, a golden-fried breaded chicken patty sandwiched between two halves of a Krispy Kreme donut. At 12 grams of protein, you’re doing better than you would with the Deep-fried Oreos, but let’s look at the rest of the statistics: 590 calories, 28 grams of total fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates, and 525 milligrams of sodium.

For a few true fair classics, we move on to some foods on a stick: the Classic Corn Dog and the battered Cheese on a Stick. These two golden brown additions to the menu are obviously ready to be used as weapons in a food-on-a-stick duel or jousting match. But how do they weigh in on nutrition? The Corn Dog has 340 calories, 23 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 22 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein, and a whopping 790 milligrams of sodium (granted – that’s less than half the sodium of the Turkey Leg – another good food duel choice). On the flip side, we find that the Cheese on a Stick comes in at just 240 calories, but 16 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 21 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein, and 640 milligrams of sodium.

For a fair fair dessert, let’s go for a crispy and “light” 8” funnel cake. Unfortunately, at 869 calories, it’s definitely not the lightest dessert in the park. It also comes in at 44 grams of total fat (11 grams of saturated fat), 110 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein, and 540 milligrams of sodium.

With all of that in mind, let’s look at the final chart on the page to see how those nutrition amounts match up with the average adult’s daily nutritional recommendations in the chart at the bottom of the infographic:

Daily Nutrition Recommendations for a 28-year-old 5-foot-5-inch, 115-pound woman with a “low active” lifestyle are: 2,050 calories, 46 to 88 grams of total fat, 230 to 330 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of protein, and 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

For a “low active” lifestyle 28-year-old 5-foot-10-inch, 160-pound man, those same numbers would be: 2,746 calories, 61 to 107 grams of total fat, 309 to 446 grams of carbs, 58 grams of protein, and 1,500 milligrams of sodium.

At the bottom of the infographic is a Rasmussen College logo, as well as the following links to source materials:

U.S. National Agricultural Library, Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals, http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/2013
Juicys, LLC, Manufacturer’s Nutrition Facts, 2012
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, Nutritional Information, 2013 http://www.krispykreme.com/about-us/nutritional-information
Tyson Foods, Inc., Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Breast Patties, 2013 http://www.tyson.com/Products/Fully-Cooked-Breaded-Chicken-Breast-Patties.aspx
Hot Dog on a Stick Enterprises, Nutritional Information and Product Ingredients, 2013 http://www.hotdogonastick.com/menu.aspx
CalorieKing Wellness Solutions, Inc., Calories in Average Fair & Carnival Foods Deep Fried Oreo, 2013 http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-fair-carnival-foods-deep-fried-oreo_f-ZmlkPTE5NDA3OQ.html
Herbalife iChange, Calories in Funnel Cake 8 to 9 inches in Diameter, 2013 http://www.ichange.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-in/funnel-cake-8-to-9-inches-in-diameter

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