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Hungry Girl Today: 06.16.06


Wondering what's what at fairs, carnivals and amusement parks? HG is here

with the 411...


Where is the human being who decided it was a good idea to take a Twinkie,

dunk it in batter and shove it in a deep fryer? Well, whoever is responsible

for making these 420-calorie-34g-of-fat creme-filled monstrosities so popular

at carnivals and fairs needs to be dealt with accordingly (not that a life lived

exclusively in stretch pants isn't punishment enough). FYI, the king size

deep fried Snickers are WAY worse for you, packing in a whopping 700+

calories each!


While fair fave cotton candy isn't exactly good for you (oh come on - you

CAN'T really be surprised that spun sugar isn't nutritious, can you?!), a 1 oz.

cone of the stuff only contains around 100 calories or so, no fat and less

sugar than a can of soda. So while we're not saying you should eat it every

day, cotton candy might be a more sensible choice than a lot other carnival

treats. WOOHOO...PAR-TAY!


It may seem like sno-cones would be relatively light on calories--after all,

they're made mostly of ice, which is, of course, non-caloric (it's just frozen

water, don't get all excited). The problem is all that sugar-laden syrup the

crushed ice is drowned in. If you want to keep your sno-cone calorie

counts low, you need to do one of two things. You can either a. use sugar

free syrup (which means your treat will likely be calorie-free), or b. carefully

monitor the amount of syrup that is poured over your ice. Remember, a 12

oz. sno-cone with 6 oz. syrup contains a shocking 540 calories! Yikes. Stick

with half the amount of syrup and your "cone" will contain half the calories.

HG Tip: Sno-cone syrups usually contain 80-100 calories per ounce.


Ahh--the age old question -- burgers vs. dogs? To be perfectly honest,

neither one is a great option for you. And there are burgers that are

healthier and lower-cal than dogs and vice versa. Unfortunately, the worker

at the food stand isn't going to know how many calories these things have

and if you ask, you'll likely get laughed at. So save yourself from public

humiliation and be smart. If you do cave and order a burger or a dog, get

yours without cheese or mayo, and eat only half the bread. Order extra

pickles to fill you up if you're hungry. And If you're lucky enough to find a

grilled chicken option, grab it, as it will likely be lower in calories and fat than

any other available meats.


Need something cold to cool you down? Choose carefully. Ice cream sold at

carnivals is often premium (aka full fat) stuff served in sugary waffle cones.

That adds up to a ton of calories--close to 1,000 of them for a large sized,

jam-packed cone. Many vendors do carry individually wrapped frozen

novelties, though. So if you absolutely MUST have ice cream, consider

getting one of those. At least you'll have built in portion control. Treat

yourself to one if you're dying for it, otherwise, if you can, try to stick with

some ice cold water or a diet beverage and hold off on the frozen treats until

you get home.


Wondering about the nutritional info on some other popular carnival foods?

Take a peak...

Soft Pretzel: 340 calories, 2g fat

Funnel Cake (whole): 760 calories, 44g fat

Fair Popcorn (7 cups, no extra butter): 400 calories, 27g fat

Caramel Apples: 300 calories, 1g fat

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana: 240 calories, 4g fat



June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, so just do it. Make sure they

aren't drowned in butter, though. :)

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