Choosing a Healthier Dog!


Hot dogs are not exactly man’s best friend. The hot dog is a staple in summer BBQ’s – the truth is, it is hard to find a healthy dog. If you review the nutrition facts label – hot dogs are loaded with processed meat, cholesterol raising saturated fat, and sodium! We are not here to ruin your 4th of July picnic this weekend– however, it is important to know what is in your foods! In the same aspect, it is possible to find a “better” dog!

Hot dogs are processed meat. Research has shown that a high intake of processed meats (bacon, cured meats, sausages, cold cuts) has been linked to colorectal cancer. You do not have to cut these foods out of the diet – but we should definitely limit the intake of these types of meats. On top of that risk, grilling foods to high temperatures (char-grilling a hot dog) can cause an increase in carcinogen production in the meats. Double whammy!

The calories in hot dogs may not appear that bad. However; say you have found a dog with 120 calories per serving. Not bad right? That is without the condiments and bun! Hot dog buns are usually enriched, white bread around 120 calories per serving with minimal heart healthy fiber. SO, you will be looking at least 240-250 calories per hot dog, with condiments to add! Another thing to think about is how filling that food is. You may need to eat 3-4 hot dogs with many side dishes before feeling full. Hot dogs are made with more fillers – (sodium, fat) instead of the most filling nutrient: protein.

Hot dogs also contain sodium nitrate which is a compound found in cured meat to prevent and maintain freshness and safety. However; this compound has been linked to some cancers in animal studies.

Ok, so now we know hot dogs could be detrimental to our health, have limited healthful nutrients and are loaded with calories. What is a healthier dog? And is there one? That is hard to say. Turkey or veggie hot dogs will probably win the prize. They do have some drawbacks however – sodium. Lower in fat and calories, these dogs can have over 1/3 of your day’s worth of sodium. Veggie dogs do not have sodium nitrate – and you can also find pork or beef hot dogs without this detrimental ingredient. They key is to read your labels! You can find a hot dog (Beef, pork, chicken, turkey or veggie) that is lower in fat, lower in sodium and without sodium nitrate! Choose a whole wheat bun and lower sodium condiments such as mustard and diced onion. Serve with a fresh fruit or veggie salad.

If you are in need of meal planning assistance or are trying to lose weight this summer – be sure to visit our website or give us a call (330) 702-1311 for a FREE fitness or nutrition consultation! It is never too late in the summer to get that healthy body you always wanted!

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Posted by on July 5, 2013. Filed under Health,Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry