Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hot Dog Guide

It is hot dog season, and even though I'm not a fan at all of processed meats, there are a few good options available in the market. Check out this great guide provided by Yahoo and Eating Well:
• Choose hot dogs labeled “Uncured” or “No added nitrates.” Sodium nitrite or nitrate (additives found in most hot dogs to help extend shelf life) are linked by some (but not all) experts to increased cancer risk.
• Pick sodium-smart dogs. We tasted, it’s true: dogs don’t have to be salt bombs to taste great. Look for brands with 370 mg sodium or less. For beef dogs, check out Applegate’s Uncured Beef Hot Dog, which has a delicious beefy flavor and weighs in at only 70 calories, with only 2 grams of fat and 330 mg of sodium—though you’d never know it to try them, since they have the fatty, salty flavor of a less healthy dog! High marks also go to the Boar’s Head Lite Skinless Beef Frankfurter, which has a mild, German-style wurst flavor and keeps its numbers similarly slim with fat and calories, even managing to shave off a bit of sodium. That’s no small feat, since many “lite” brands of beef hot dog are big-time sodium offenders. Health-wise, we liked Applegate Uncured Turkey Dog, which has a rich, savory flavor that mimics a beef or pork dog, and boasts a trim 40 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat and amazing 260 mg of sodium.
• Go for organic hot dogs. These dogs, such as Applegate’s Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dog, are made from organically raised animals, not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Plus they skip the nitrites and nitrates.
• For all-out nutrition, nothing tops a veggie dog, such as the Lightlife Smart Dog, which clocks in at 45 calories and 0 grams of fat—that’s a dog you shouldn’t feel bad heaping toppings upon! Also impressive was the Tofu Pup, which had a mere 0.5 gram of saturated fat.