Living with diabetes blog

Enjoy fair food without torpedoing your diet

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. August 23, 2013

I love county and state fairs. Life doesn't get much more perfect than spending a day (or more) at the fair. If you have diabetes, however, the beer gardens and deep-fat fried foods at the fair can blow your diet — as well as your blood sugar — off the map.

Here are a few tips for enjoying fair favorites and staying on your diet:

  • Shop around. Don't settle for the first food stall that you see. With a little exploration you can find healthier and tastier options. Many fairs and festivals now feature vegan, vegetarian and ethnic foods that are tasty and less calorie-dense than traditional fried fair foods. For example, look for freshly grilled shish kabobs.
  • Drink lots of water. It is important to stay hydrated when you're out in the sun. Water also helps curb the appetite.
  • Be active. If you're able, walk briskly between exhibits. Don't be afraid to dance! Dancing a couple of hours can burn 800 calories.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Not only will you be protecting your feet, you also won't mind the walking.
  • Eat before you go. Eat before going to the fair or, if you can, bring your own food to the fair. Not only will you save money — fair food is notoriously expensive — you won't be as tempted to sample the unhealthy fare.
  • Pace yourself. Spread out your favorite treats throughout your time at the fair. Enjoy one or two of your favorites each day you visit the fair.

What tips and tricks do you have for enjoying your favorites at the fair while still sticking with your diet?


Aug. 23, 2013