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Are Hot Dogs Bad For You? (Shocking Study Says It Takes Years Off Life)

Written by Erin Porter

If hot dogs really do take years off of ones life, I am pretty sure I may be in a little bit of trouble.  When I worked in Manhattan I ate “dirty water dogs” almost on a daily basis.  Not only were hot dogs from the street venders delicious, they were a cheap and convenient lunch for a teenager in an expensive city!

two hot dogs with a pickles and onion surrounding them

Hot dogs would absolutely qualify as being “bad for you” as they are linked to an increase risk of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.  Processed meats including hot dogs when eaten regularly increase your chances of heart disease.

close up of hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard

But what else is important to know if there is a such thing as moderation, and that this same study states that one serving of nuts, fatty fish, and field grown fruits and vegetables may add 26 minutes to your life!

Why Are Hot Dogs Bad For You?

The Journal Nature Food released a study in which they found that consuming one hot dog may shorten one’s lifespan by 36 minutes.  Their study included 5,853 common foods in the American diet and measured whether they prolonged life or shortened it.  Not surprisingly, when we eat foods that nature intended us to eat (fruits, nuts, vegetables) the study showed these choices added minutes to your life.

I don’t know about you but I may never be able to eat a hot dog again in peace.  The fact that I may be shortening my life by 36 minutes will surely be ringing in my head.  But I sure do like hot dogs so I knew there must be healthier alternatives I could share with you, and there are!

How Many Hot Dogs Are Safe To Eat?

Health Digest states “Eating processed meat like a hot dog sparingly shouldn’t harm your health, but limit consumption to once or twice a month. Eating one every day could put you at a high risk of developing conditions like heart disease and cancer.”

In this article I will give you tips on what to look for in choosing healthier hot dogs.  You don’t have to completely forgo this American staple!

Processed Meat And Cancer states that the World Health Organization (WHO) and The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified processed meat as a carcinogen.  A carcinogen being a substance that is proven to cause cancer.  Hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meat such as ham and bologna are considered processed meat.

How bad are hot dogs for you? also says that “eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That’s the equivalent of about 4 strips of bacon or 1 hot dog. For red meat, there was evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.”

“Overall, the lifetime risk of someone developing colon cancer is 5%. To put the numbers into perspective, the increased risk from eating the amount of processed meat in the study would raise average lifetime risk to almost 6%.”

close up of hotdog with a pickle mustard and sauerkraut

What You Need To Make Healthy Hot Dogs

Are hot dogs good for you?

No, most hot dogs on the the market are not good for you.  Sorry to break that news to you.  There are however, ways to make them healthier.

  • Healthy Hot Dogs: Shop for hot dogs that are free of nitrates and nitrites.  Make sure the meat they use for their hot dogs is organic and grass fed. We prefer to eat Applegate Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs. They do not contain antibiotics and are made with 100% grass-fed pasture raised beef.
  • Sauerkraut:  Sauerkraut is an excellent way to get in some healthy probiotics while you are enjoying your hot dog!
  • Organic Onion:  Onions contain sulfur compounds that have antimicrobial compounds.
  • Ditch the White Bread:  I used hot dog buns made from millet and not wheat.
  • Ditch the bad chips:  Let’s face it, chips are usually a hot dogs side kick.  There are so many healthier choices today.  Many chips are now made of beans or cassava flour and are delicious options.

Televison : I Show You How To Make Lentil and Chorizo Soup on ABC’s Morning Blend Show

Update: The second edition of my book Eat Pray Get Well – has been released.  New Exclusive interviews with Joe Cross – Filmmaker and star of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Supermodel Carol Alt, Tommy Rosa, author of 7 Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth.  Tommy shares his near death experience and what Jesus taught him during his time in heaven.  And so much more.

Eat Pray Get Well ~ A Journey from Chronic Illness & Brokenness To Wholeness & Wellness 

Foreword Written by Doug Kaufmann – HOST OF TELEVISIONS “KNOW THE CAUSE. As seen on ABC, NBC, CBS. PBS American Health Journal, CTN, Know the Cause and more. 

eat pray get well book

For healthier versions of your favorite foods, check out my recipe section.  All of my recipes are free of gluten, yeast, corn, refined sugar, and wheat.  I mostly follow the Kaufmann diet after becoming very ill as a teenager.  I was exposed to toxic mold which almost succeeded at completely taking my  health down for decades.

Here you can read my full story of overcoming chronic disease and the steps I took to heal my body.

Erin Porter
Erin Porter
I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed.

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About Erin

I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed. My book Eat Pray Get Well is about overcoming a tumultuous childhood, decades of chronic illness, and finding God in the process. Includes exclusive interviews with renowned Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Supermodel Carol Alt, Doug Kaufmann, and many more. Plus 55 gluten free recipes woven throughout. 

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