Minnesota State Fair food nutrition fact sheet - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Food fact sheet helps steer fairgoers to healthy fare

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Many people come to the Minnesota State Fair with empty stomachs and a craving for their deep-fried favorites, but those with special diet needs can now use a list of food facts that can help steer fairgoers to healthier fare.

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No one really wants to think about the fat, calories and carbohydrates in classics like deep fried cheese curds, but it's important information for people who have conditions like diabetes. That's why dieticians at Park Nicollet's International Diabetes Center put together the Fair Food Fact Sheet to help navigate people to healthy cuisine.

Some of the details on the fact sheet are eye-opening. For instance, the blooming onion packs 1,500 calories, 186 grams of carbohydrates and 84 grams of fat.

"It's equivalent to about 12 slices of bread, and most people don't' think about it because it's an onion and it's got a little batter on it -- but it really could derail your diet," explained Mary Ziotas-Zacharatos.

Ziotas-Zacharatos explains that most of the fair favorites are foods to watch out for. Mini donuts are one of the worst offenders. Though 15 come in a bag, a serving size is just five. Even then, that's 270 calories and 38 grams of carbohydrates.

It may not be at all surprising to hear that those fried cheese curds are a caloric bomb, with 533 in that carry-away caddy -- and 34 grams of carbohydrates too.

"People don't think anything of them," Ziotas-Zacharatos said of the cheese curds. "They do have breading on them."

Still, here are some surprising options out there. Corn dogs, for example, clock in at just 148 calories and 33 grams of carbohydrates, and those have a good balance of protein and fat. The turkey legs are also a great source of protein, and there are no carbohydrates at all. With 363 calories, they're what diabetics might call a "free food."

Online resources:

NOTE: For each new follower, Blotz plans to donate a dollar to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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