MPR: Day of State Fair eating improves your cholesterol!

Categories: Health Care
state fair eating
Photo by Nikki Miller
We saw this Minnesota Public Radio headline and gave an unnecessarily and obnoxiously loud groan: "A day of eating at the Minnesota State Fair." We immediately thought that once again MPR was sucking all of the fun out of everything we enjoy. Our Minnesota State Fair trip is probably one of the best days of summer (or the whole year) and the last thing we needed to hear is how it would lead to heart failure, obesity, and all cancers imaginable.

But no, MPR actually made our day. Our year perhaps. Despite their attempt to scare us with their full day of eating and calorie counting at the "Great Minnesota Get-Together" (2.5x the calories in one day! GET OUT!) they actually gave us the greatest state fair news yet...

A day of state fair eating actually improves your cholesterol. We're doing the bad-food celebration dance as we type this.



MPR reporter Curtis Gilbert spent a whole day eating nothing but state fair grub. We're talking bacon, eggs, fried everything, crepes, corn-on-the-cob dripping with butter. You name it, he probably ate it.

His plan: Figure out what that whole day of nasty eating would do to his cholesterol.

He went in the morning of his eat-fest to get his baseline cholesterol count. Unforunately, Gilbert was already unhealthy. His LDL (bad cholesterol), triglyceride levels, and overall cholesterol levels were above normal. Whoops.

You'd think that would be a sign to steer clear of heart-attack-on-a-stick fried goodness, but Gilbert pushed forward. And thank goodness he did.

When he went back in to the doctor the next day for a follow-up test, he was healthier! You heard us right. After eating 6,400 calories (2.5 times his daily allowance), four times the salt and six times the saturated fat, Gilbert was a better man.

From the MPR report:
"Oh my God, your cholesterol is down from yesterday," said Catherine Robbins staring at the results of my second lipid panel. "You're in the good zone."

I go from an elevated to a normal cholesterol reading, even though just about everything I ate the day before was drenched in fryolator oil.

"I don't know how to explain this," said Dr. John Hallberg, MPR's medical analyst and who helped design the experiment. "This is so not what I was expecting. I'm sure there's some physiologic way to explain this, I just don't know how to do it."
Listen to the full radio report here:


Hallelujah! Let the State Fair binge commence! See you at the fried Twinkie stand, suckas.


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