Are Hot Dogs as Unhealthy as People Claim?

Are Hot Dogs as Unhealthy as People Claim?

If you’re on social media as much as I am then you might have seen the question circulating about if consuming hot dogs takes minutes off your life? While we can not confirm or deny this hot question, we can clue you in on some of the healthy and unhealthy qualities that a hot dog does have. 

Our food coach rates these hot dogs as a red dot which means to be aware of the amount of consumption of this food. 

This food seems to have these healthy qualities:

  • Moderate in calories per serving
  • Healthy balance of fat
  • Healthy balance of saturated fat 
  • Healthy balance of sodium 
  • Healthy balance of total carbohydrates 
  • Healthy balance of added sugars
  • Healthy balance of food additives 
  • No artificial flavor or color 

However this food is rated as a red dot food due to it having the following unhealthy qualities that may have negative health effects if consumed unconsciously! Hot dogs contain some trans fat and/or hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenated oil is often used in processed food products to increase shelf life, save money, add texture and stability. The process of hydrogenation creates trans-fat which negatively affects heart health.

Hot dogs are also low in fiber for its calorie level per serving. A diet rich in fiber is essential for keeping the digestive system healthy and to reduce the risk of heart problems, diabetes, and obesity. Our Food Coach recommends at least 1.4 grams of fiber (5% of daily value) per 100-125 calories on a general healthy diet.

It is also important to note that this food seems low in protein for its calorie level and is not a significant source of iron, calcium, vitamin D or potassium. Make sure you get these nutrient in your diet from other healthy food sources. Make sure you get this nutrient in your diet from other healthy food sources and get a significant amount of sunlight to manage your vitamin D levels.

You do not need to turn down a hot dog at your next family picnic, instead just pair it with some other nutrient dense and higher protein options for a balanced plate and eat with confidence!

*Disclaimer: Food Coach Recommendations: This food may be incorporated into your diet but should be consumed with caution to be in balance with your daily caloric and nutrients need. No one food is perfect so you need to include foods from all food groups on a general healthy diet (whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, legumes, lentils and low fat dairy) with minimally added sugar, fat, salt and other food additives. Purchase our Medical Nutrition Therapy for the nutrition plan that is right for you! Use this coupon ( MNT20 ) to receive 20% off the services.

Wondering about foods you eat on the daily, try out our food coach option on our website for yourself. You can input information straight from nutrition labels in your own home in a matter of 5 minutes or less you will have nutritious as well as non nutritious qualities of your favorite foods.

*This page was reviewed and edited by Shraddha Chaubey, MS, RDN, LDN/CDN

Written by: Mackenzie Merriman Nutrition Student & Intern