Crafting the perfect hot dog is difficult. Forget selecting the best cooking option. Before you can even think about tossing your dogs on the grill, you have to purchase the perfect frank.
And let me tell you…there are a lot of options out there. Beef, chicken or a mix of meats. Low fat, uncured, stuffed with cheese. Which way should you go?!
If you don’t already have a favorite brand, you might as well go healthy.
What Makes a Hot Dog Healthy?
Classifying a hot dog as healthy might seem crazy. Most of us have heard for years that they are a terribly unhealthy–possibly dangerous–food.
But hot dogs have just gotten a bad reputation. Some really are healthy.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient. It is responsible for all sorts of things—maintaining the health of the nervous system, helping to form red blood cells, regulating the metabolism and much more.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 can only be found in animal products—things like beef, chicken, lamb, pork, eggs, and milk.
Since many people abstain from eating animal products, they need to rely on vitamin B12 shots to get their daily dose of the nutrient. Vitamin B12 shots can be purchased online and shipped directly to your door.
While B12 shots are great, they can also be used to supplement an already healthy diet. Maybe you don’t eat enough B12 and the shots can give you the boost you need. In these situations, it is still a good idea to add as much vitamin B12 to your diet as possible.
If you find an all-meat hot dog, you’re golden. Eating a couple of these all-meat hot dogs will go a long way toward fulfilling your daily vitamin B12 requirement.
Vitamin B12 isn’t the only nutritional component you should consider. There are other qualifiers for a healthy hot dog.
Find a hot dog that has less than…
- 150 calories
- 14 grams of fat (and minimal saturated fat)
- 450 milligrams of sodium
Also, check to make sure the frank doesn’t have any nitrites or nitrates (these might cause cancer).
Obviously, finding a hot dog that fulfils all these requirements will be hard. Fortunately, we have a few suggestions.
Best Healthy Hot Dogs
Here are some all-meat hot dog options that are well below the calorie, fat, and sodium threshold. They also are uncured—meaning there are no unhealthy nitrates or nitrites added.
Applegate Farms’ Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog
There are lots of all-beef hot dogs out there. Some are healthy (few calories, fat, etc.) and others are not. The Applegate Farm hot dogs are healthy—and come with a few extra perks.
These hot dogs are made from 100% organic beef. That means the cattle that contributed to these hot dogs have never received antibiotics or hormones.
Plus, these dogs are made from grass-fed beef. Cattle that graze yield less saturated fat than grain fed beef.
Trader Joe’s Uncured Chicken Hot Dogs
Chicken dogs are a great substitute for beef franks. These hot dogs are very low in calories and fat since they are made from one of the leanest proteins.
For most brands, only thighs and boneless, skinless breasts are used. This company goes the extra mile and puts some tasty additions in their recipe—paprika, onion and garlic.
Applegate Farms’ Organic Turkey Hot Dogs
Like chicken hot dogs, turkey dogs are a nice alternative to beef. These aren’t as popular, so you’ll have to look extra hard for a healthy option.
Turkey hot dogs also use the choicest cuts of meat and offer a very low calorie meal. They are also a great source of lean protein.
If you do chose either a chicken or turkey dog, watch out for the phrase “mechanically separated meat.” Mechanically separated meat takes every last morsel of meat off the bone, creating a paste-like substance. MSM beef has been outlawed—but the practice is still used for chicken and turkey.
Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Hot Dog Buns
Once you’ve made your hot dog selection, you’ll want to put it on a healthy bun.
This whole grain bun is one of the healthiest you can find. It uses wheat, barley, millet, soybeans and more to pack a powerful nutritional punch.
If you can’t find this brand, opt for any other whole grain option.
Hot dogs might not be considered healthy by traditional standards, but you can certainly make your meal the best it can be.
Have you tried any of these brands of healthy hot dogs? Let us know what you think!