portion distortion: Hot dogs

Welcome back! Last week was a kind of weird week and I am hoping to be way more productive this week. If you read here often, you know I focus a lot on healthier eating habits. Hot dogs are one of the top ten food items in America. We love our hot dogs! I am sure most people are probably aware that hot dogs are not really good for you. Why? Hot dogs are full of fat and sodium. Some even have added sugars. But, the biggest issues with hot dogs are the nitrates that are cancer causing. Cooking hot dogs at high temperatures can also cause acrylamide to form which is another cancer causing agent. Hot dogs are a highly processed food and often contain MSG which is a trigger for headaches for some people. They do contain some protein, but it is not quality protein, and hot dogs have a lot of fillers and preservatives and not so much meat.

So, why do we like them so much? Hot dogs taste good. Foods containing lots of sodium and fat are generally accepted by the body as tasting good. They are quick to make which makes them convenient. They are also affordable compared to other meat products. Hot dogs are also versatile and easy to transport like to a barbecue.

I have said this before and I will probably say it forever, learning to read labels and controlling portion sizes is the key to enjoying all foods, but it is really important when eating highly processed foods. If you have CKD, like me, one hot dog is going to provide you with up to 500 mg of sodium. That is a lot of sodium especially if you are on a 1800 mg sodium per day diet, or even 2,000 mg per day if you have Heart Disease. Know what a portion size is, for a hot dog, it is 1 hot dog. Eat only one portion and fill up on other things that may be healthier. Watch what you put on your hot dog. Did you know that shelf stable sauerkraut has virtually no probiotics in them, the one super good reason to eat it? Buy refrigerated sauerkraut or make your own to get the wonderful benefits of it. Mustard, even though it tastes salty has virtually no sodium. Catsup may have a lot of added sugars and sodium. Try not to overcook the hot dog, or burn it, as that is when the acrylamide forms. Don’t let the label that says no nitrates fool you. All hot dogs still have nitrates it is just the form of nitrates being used that is makes that statement an acceptable claim by food manufacturers. Make hot dogs a treat not a routine food item in your diet. Avoid the bun if you have Diabetes. Plus, don’t forget the high amounts of fat in hot dogs.

There are some better options of hot dogs, but be sure and read the labels and stick to the portion size. I wouldn’t say any manufactured hot dogs are healthy, but I could be wrong. The video below shows you how to make your own hot dogs. It looks like a process that would take some patience, but with no sodium at all added to the ingredients, and you know everything else that you are putting into them, it might not be a bad thing to know how to do. Amazon had other products where you make hot dogs with no casings, which looks much easier. I think I need one of these. Women do love their cooking gadgets, lol. If you would like to learn about my new coaching plan, click here. I also offer monthly subscriptions for meal planning, and losing weight. You can find them in the archives or use the communication form to message me. Consumer Reports is my best friend when I want to learn about various products.


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One thought on “portion distortion: Hot dogs

  1. Pingback: National kidney month: Better food choices – Health Buddy Melissa

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