(Natural News) Hot dogs can be considered one of the defining foods of American culture. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimate that Americans consume at least 20 billion hot dogs in a year, which is about 70 hot dogs per person each year. Hot dogs are relatively cheap, easy to cook and can be bought almost anywhere – not to mention they are tasty – making them a fan-favorite on almost every American household. Unfortunately, their reputation as one of the most unhealthy foods available is also quite popular. Packed with harmful nitrites, processed foods like hot dogs can cause detrimental effects on overall health.
A far cry from man’s best friend
While they’re a favorite among those who enjoy cookouts or those who simply like their taste, you won’t find hot dogs on the favorites list of any health expert. A typical hot dog with ketchup and mustard contains around 290 calories and 900 mg of salt, most of which come from sugars and unhealthy saturated fat. It is also widely known that eating processed meats like hot dogs can increase your risk for certain diseases. Here are seven reasons to start replacing hot dog with something much healthier.
- Bad for your heart. Hot dogs are rich in unhealthy fats and sodium. A single hot dog without any condiments on it contains around 14 g of fat and 562 mg of sodium, which is over a quarter of your daily recommended intake of sodium. A study published in the journal Public Health and Nutrition found that people whose diets are high in processed meats were more likely to succumb to heart disease than those who ate less red and processed meats.
- Prone to food recalls. Since hot dogs go through many levels of processing, they are at a higher risk for food recalls. Whether it’s for metal shards or even bone fragments, there are many contaminants hidden in hot dogs.
- May increase your cancer risk. The World Health Organization classified hot dogs and other processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens, meaning they are among the foods that have been proven to cause cancer in humans. The report states that eating at least 50 g of processed meat every day increases the chance of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. This number is equivalent to about four strips of bacon or a single hot dog. Coleen Doyle, managing director of nutrition and physical activity from the American Cancer Society, encourages limiting the number of processed foods consumed to reduce the risk of colon cancer and other cancers.
- Comes alongside other unhealthy foods. You don’t usually see hot dogs served with a side of salad. Instead, they often come with a batch of greasy fries and a large cup of sugary soda. The buns they come in are also heavily processed and are topped with condiments that are high in sugar and sodium.
- Can trigger allergic reactions. Hot dogs contain food additives like nitrites, which are used to preserve them. Some people have allergic reactions to such additives.
- May increase risk for Type 2 diabetes. The more you eat hot dogs, the higher your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. According to a study published in the journal Metabolism, processed meat contains ingredients that could increase your risk for Type-2 diabetes. In fact, every two-ounce serving can increase your risk by 20 to 30 percent.
- May contain questionable ingredients. People report finding strange things in their hot dogs, ranging from a large ant to something like glass – although some cases don’t trigger a food recall.
Hot dogs may be mouthwatering foods, but are the health risks really worth it? Read about healthy food options to replace hot dogs with at Organics.news.