Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Healthy fair food: it's a combination of words you probably never hear in the same sentence. Thankfully, there are ways you can make healthier eating choices without feeling like you are missing out on the full fair experience.
Brie Turner-McGrievy, registered dietitian and professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, says if you are really trying to stick to a diet, eat before you get to the fair. While there are healthier options, fair food is not the healthiest.
If you want something fried, go with vegetables like the fried mushrooms. "This saves you on some calories and gives you some good nutrients, fiber and some other things that are found in mushrooms that wouldn't be found in other things. It may help you stay fuller longer so you are not tempted to get a second helping of something else" Turner-McGrievy said.
For everyone out there with a sweet tooth, the candy apple is the sweet treat for you. She says going with something that is fruit based will help cut down on calories and serve as a good source of fiber. Since there is not a lot of candy coating on the outside, the candy apple is less than 300 calories.
Water is also a game changer when it comes to making healthier choices. "When we are thirsty sometimes we interpret that as being hungry and you will end up reaching for unhealthy foods when you really could just drink a bottle of water and be satisfied," explained Turner-McGrievy.
The professor's top choice for healthy food is the baked potato. She does not suggest loading it up with all the fixins'. However, you can add things like broccoli, ketchup, salt and pepper. She says this should keep you full while you are at the fair.
The number one rule, make sure you are having fun with your friends and family! You don't want to have a bad experience because you are unhealthily focusing on what you are eating.