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Hot Dogs and Health

Are hot dogs bad for your health? Maybe.

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Hot Dogs, Wieners, and Frankfurters

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Hot Dogs and Health

Almost all varieties of hot dogs contain sodium nitrite which some researchers allege are carcinogens and yet others deny. Sodium nitrite is a chemical salt used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in hot dogs, wieners, and sausages. It is particularly effective against botulism strains. Some consumers have reported other health problems from ingestion of sodium nitrite, such as sudden drops in blood pressure. Yet sodium nitrite is now being researched as a cure for sickle cell anemia, heart attacks, brain aneurysms, even an illness that suffocates babies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Those watching their fat intake can choose from a variety of low-fat (one to nine grams of fat and 50 to 110 calories) and fat-free (less than a half gram of fat and 35 to 40 calories) wieners or switch to vegetarian tofu franks.

Beware choosing chicken or turkey hot dogs over meat to reduce your fat intake as these are not always lower in fat. Check the nutritional information on the label to be certain.

Unfortunately, those fat-free dogs won't have the flavor of a regular one. Cutting out the fat means cutting a lot of the flavor and texture.

To avoid any potential allergic reactions or fat-laden hot dogs, take control and make your own low-fat sausages at home.

More About Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Recipes:

Hot Dog Storage and Cooking Tips
Hot Dog Ingredients, Laws, Terms, and Styles
Hot Dogs and Health
Hot Dog, Wiener, and Frankfurter History
Hot Dog, Wiener, and Frankfurter Recipes

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