- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Friday, April 30, 2010
What Lurkes in Carnival Food?
There is a carnival in town. It happens every year at the same time. Everyone loves the rides that twirl you upside down and backwards. You can try your luck at the game booths to try and win a stuffed animal or toy trinket. Or you can satisfy your hunger at one of the food booths.
Lets talk about those food booths and discover what it is that you are ingesting while you are enjoying the fair.
There are typical foods at fairs, such as corn dogs, cotton candy, nachos, funnel cakes, curly fries, pizza, snow cones, and fried Twinkies. I am going to give you the low down on each of these carnival treats....and hopefully it will persuade you from wanting to put this so called "food" into your body.
Lets start with the corn dog. Corn dogs are very traditional fair food. Most of us have had a few of these in our life time if we ever visited a carnival or fair. An average corn dog has 375 calories, 1170 mg of sodium, 75 g of cholesterol, and 21 g of fat. Yikes! That is a very unhealthy snack!
Cotton candy seems innocent, not much in it. That is correct! The only thing in it is sugar, and one cotton candy can have the equivalent of 10 and 15 teaspoons of sugar in it. That is a lot of sugar, more than you should have in a day!
Lets talk nachos. A nine inch plate of nachos has 860 calories, 59 g of fat, 70 mg of cholesterol, and 1800 mg of sodium. This is half your daily intake of calories, nearly a total days worth of fat, and enough sodium for a full day. Nice treat, if you are hoping for heart disease!
How about the funnel cake? They smell delicious, but are really the devil in sheep's clothing. An 8 oz cake has approximately 760 calories, 4 teaspoons of sugar, 40% of your daily value of fat, and if you add any toppings to it like sugared strawberries or candies that are offered, this treat can soar to over 1,000 calories. Is it good enough to disrupt your journey to being fit and healthy?
A 7 oz cup of curly fries has 620 calories, 30 g of fat, and over 1500 mg of sodium. If you add ketchup to it you will be adding more calories and sugar to the already unhealthy snack.
A 7" pizza has about 700 calories, 24 g of fat, 41 mg of cholesterol, and 1085 mg of sodium. If you get one that has pepperoni or ham and pineapple on it, your totals of calories and fat sky rocket.
One serving of a snow cone will get you about 270 calories. That is not the horror of snow cones though, it is the amount of sugar in them that is scary. Each snow cone has the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar in them. Yuck! No nutritious value there.
And last but not least, the fried Twinkie. First of all, why would anyone want to take an already unhealthy snack and make it ten times more unhealthy? Well, I guess a lot of people who do not have much concern for their health, if you did care you would never eat one of these. One fried Twinkie has about 450 calories, and 35 g of fat. Again there is zero nutritional value in one of these.
Okay, I know I sound like a downer on the carnival food thing, but there is power in knowledge. Think about it....if you were to have a corn dog, some nachos, and a fried Twinkie as your carnival meal, you would take in about 1685 calories and 115 grams of fat! That is almost a whole days worth of calories and two days worth of fat.
It is no wonder that half our population, 150 million people, are overweight, obese, and candidates for a host of obesity related diseases. Many of these people already have diabetes, heart disease, and have experienced strokes, but continue to eat this kind of food.
If you care about your health I would advise you to watch you intake of carnival food. Have a bite or two if you must, but understand the consequence of what this food will do to your health. Have fun at the fair, but do it moderately if you are trying to be healthy and fit. This kind of food will definitely throw you off your course of losing body fat and feeling better.
Enjoy the rides, the games, the animals, the flowers, the music, and all that goes with being at the fair, but choose wisely when you are eating that unhealthy fair food!