What do tamales, avocados and Oreos have in common? They’re all deep-fried and served up at the Arizona State Fair each October!
Many of us look forward to sinking our teeth into battered and deep-fried fair food all year long. If you’re looking to indulge, but don’t want to damage your smile, check out our list of the top 5 worst and best fair foods for your teeth:
5 Worst Fair Foods for Your Teeth
- Funnel cakes
It’s hard not to love funnel cakes, but this may be one food stand to avoid at the fair. Funnel cakes are deep-fried batter, sprinkled with sugar. They have a calorie count around 760 and are packed with fat. Your smile (and your waistline) will thank you for passing these up.
- Elephant ears
Nope, these aren’t actual elephant ears. These are giant slabs of fried and flattened dough smothered in butter, sugar and cinnamon. Although they may be tasty, they contain enough sugar to give you an instant toothache.
- Kettle corn
Have you ever had a popcorn kernel get stuck in-between your teeth? If it’s left there for too long it can harm your oral health. The sugar-coated kernels of kettle corn can do even more damage. If you’re a kettle corn lover, be sure to have some floss handy to remove those sticky kernels.
- Caramel apples
Caramel apples must be somewhat good for you since you’re eating an apple, right? The answer is complicated. You’re getting the nutrients from the apple, but the caramel part of this delicious treat can harm your teeth. It’s packed with sugar, plus it’s sticky and hard to remove. If you have braces, caramel apples are a definite no-no as they can damage your brackets.
- Deep-fried Oreos
Oreos are already stuffed with sugar, but they’re even worse for you when deep-fried. Many fair vendors also sprinkle this treat with powdered sugar to top it off. They can contain upwards of 900 calories and 51 grams of sugar. Your mouth and tummy will be glad you didn’t grab any of these.
We don’t love hearing about all the yummy foods that are terrible for our teeth and bodies. So, let’s dive in to the fair foods that may be better for your smile. Make your list and hit up these food stands:
5 Best Fair Foods for Your Teeth
- Smoked turkey legs
Turkey is loaded with protein and phosphorus. When mixed with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorous is a key component in creating strong bones and healthy teeth. But keep in mind, the turkey legs at the fair probably aren’t trimmed of fat and are called “giant” for a reason. Moderation is key!
You can find a variety of kabobs being grilled up at the fair. Chicken and steak are the most popular, skewered with red onion and bell peppers. This is a delicious snack that will fill you up and help you avoid all the other tempting treats.
- Cotton candy
Did you know that cotton candy was invented by a dentist? Dentist William Morrison created the sweet treat in 1897! While not typically part of a healthy diet, cotton candy is low in calories and melts in your mouth. If you have a sweet tooth, this is one of your better options.
While corn is considered a “sweet” vegetable, there are only about 6 grams of sugar in a medium-sized ear of corn. Corn also contains insoluble fiber, iron and potassium that support your oral and overall health. If you grab yourself some corn-on-the-cob, go easy on the salt and butter.
- Boiled peanuts
It’s easy to grab a bag of peanuts to snack on while strolling around the fairgrounds. Peanuts contain protein, potassium and calcium, which all support your dental health. Opt for plain peanuts with no sugar added, if possible.
Need some more ideas for healthy fair foods? The Arizona State Fair put together their own list of healthy foods you can find at the fairgrounds.
Fair foods are tempting because, for most of us, they only come around once a year. No matter how you choose to indulge, just remember that moderation is key. Sink your teeth into something delicious and enjoy your day at the fair!