September 15, 2017

Tips for Healthy Eating at the Mountain State Fair – Cotton Candy Approved!

With more than 40 vendors serving up such perennial fall favorites as corn dogs, candy apples and fried Twinkies, the NC Mountain State Fair is a smorgasbord of temptation. You don’t have to walk past the deliciousness; just think before you nosh. Mission Health’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator Laura Tolle says you can have your funnel cake and eat it too.

“The biggest problem with fair food is quantity and high calorie temptations,” Tolle said. “If you are going to indulge, be mindful of how much you are eating.” Tolle offers these tips for fair goers to consider:

  • Choose one special treat instead of two or three when you are at the fair
  • Sharing your favorite treat allows you to have some without overdoing it
  • Eat a balanced meal prior to going, so you are not tempted by the smells or your growling stomach

With that in mind, we put together a list of fair foods, their approximate calorie count and what it will take you to burn off your favs.

Another way to counteract all the goodies is to balance your intake with purposeful exercise. A bite or two of high-calorie treats isn’t going to be difficult to counteract with an increase in daily exercise. An entire funnel cake, on the other hand, can add 700 calories to your intake.

“A good rule of thumb is it takes 20 minutes of walking at 3 mph to burn 100 calories,” Tolle said. That entire confection will take you two-and-a-half hours of walking to burn.

Having said that, remember that 3 mph is walking at a snappy pace. Walking through the Fun House doesn’t count.

Laura Tolle is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator with Mission Health – MyHealthyLife™ Wellness.

For more information on Mission Health’s Wellness Services, or to make an appointment, call (828) 213-8250 or visit Wellness Services on