Are hot dogs healthy?

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

One of the biggest questions among those who love hot dogs is, are hot dogs healthy? Hot dogs may taste amazing due to their grilled flavor. Moreover, the processed meats used in hot dogs may be flavored in a way that makes them taste exceptional.

However, those who eat hot dogs forget that regularly eating processed meats like hot dogs may be bad for their health.

If you want to find out how many calories a single hot dog contains, and if hot dogs are healthy or not, then read on.

Ingredients in hot dogs

A typical hot dog is not just made from one ingredient but several different ingredients. So, what are hot dogs made of? Before you get to know about the calories in a hot dog, you need to know what goes inside it.

A typical hot dog has less than 200 calories. But, when you add a bun, it has 100 extra calories. In a beef hot dog, there is 572 mg of sodium. It has 6 g or 6000 mg of saturated fat in it.


Sausage is one of the most important ingredients of a hot dog. The beef sausage contains a total of 186 calories. There is 7 g or 7000 mg of protein, 2 g or 2000 mg of carbohydrate, and 0 g of dietary fiber in a traditional beef sausage.

1 g or 1000 mg of sugars and 17 g or 17000 mg of fat are present in a beef hot dog sausage.

White Hot Dog Bun

The bun of a hot dog is especially rich in sodium. It may add around 200 mg of sodium to the hot dogs. The total calories that come from a traditional white bun are 100 calories. 4 g or 4000 mg of protein and 18 g or 18000 mg of carbohydrate are present in a white bun. 1 g or 1000 mg of dietary fiber and fat, and 2 g or 2000 mg of sugar are present in a white hot dog bun.


A hot dog also uses condiments such as ketchup and mustard. Ketchup on hot dogs has 10 calories. Total sugars, added sugars, and carbohydrates account for 2 g or 2000 mg in amount. Mustard, which is also used in hot dogs, has 3 calories.

Additional ingredients such as raw onion have 4 calories. Overall, looking at the ingredients list, it seems a hot dog will not be diet-friendly.

ComponentsTypes of NutrientsQuantity in mg/ milligramsGlycemic indexCalories
SausageProtein 700030186
Dietary fiber0
White Hot dog bunsodium200 61-71140
Dietary fiber and fat1000

Are Hot Dogs Unhealthy?

One of the main questions that come to mind will be, are hot dogs unhealthy? Hot dogs are not necessarily healthy. This is because the processed meat used in hot dogs may result in colorectal cancer.

Moreover, the excess level of sodium present in hot dogs may also be harmful to health. According to the researchers, consuming 50 grams of processed foods each day, or one hot dog, increases your risk of colon cancer by 18%.

There are also other reasons why hot dogs are considered harmful to health. Let’s have a look at those reasons in the following section.

Reasons Why Hot Dogs Are Harmful to Health

Hot dogs are harmful to health due to many reasons. So, if you were thinking, is eating hot dogs every day bad for you, then you were on the right track.

Bad for heart health

Hot dogs are rich in salt and saturated fat. One hot dog may include more than a fifth of your daily salt requirement as well as nearly 14 grams of fat.

The more red and processed meat individuals ate, the more likely they were to suffer from heart disease, according to a study of 150,000 fatalities.

Increases chances of developing type 2 diabetes

Each hot dog you consume raises your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. For every two-ounce portion of processed meat consumed each day, those who consume the most have a 20 to 30 percent increased risk of diabetes. Yes, just one hot dog a day may result in all of this. 

Are Hot Dogs Healthy Without the Bun?

Hot dogs without the buns may be a healthier alternative. However, you should still be mindful of the number of hot dogs without buns that you eat per day. It is always possible to consume too many extra calories by adding too many toppings. So, be cautious even if you eat hot dogs without the buns.

Another question that you may think of is how many hot dogs are safe to eat? It is alright to eat hot dogs once in a while, but do not eat them every day. So, to answer the question is eating hot dogs every day bad for you? Yes, it is.

Healthier Alternatives to Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are not a healthy option because of the processed and red meats in them. However, there are healthier alternatives to hot dogs that you may eat. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  1. Chicken hot dogs

You may be wondering are chicken hot dogs healthy? Chicken hot dogs contain fewer calories and are less processed than beef hot dogs.

Therefore, chicken hot dogs are a much healthier alternative. If you want to have a healthy diet, indulge in healthy eating, and reap the most health benefits, then chicken hot dogs are a great choice.

  1. Applegate Uncured Hot Dogs

Beef hot dogs may seem like they are unhealthy. But Applegate Farm’s hot dogs do not have nitrates. They only contain 70 calories. Organic hot dogs from the same brand are available. The best part is that no artificial ingredients or even antibiotics are there in the meat.

3. Turkey Hot Dogs

Are hot dogs fattening? Yes, hot dogs are quite fattening. This is why many people resort to healthier alternatives. If you are wondering, are turkey hot dogs healthy, then you are on the right track.

Turkey hot dogs have less sodium and fat. They contain 370 mg of sodium only.


  1. Are air-fried hot dogs healthy?

Air frying is always a healthier alternative. Thus, air-fried hot dogs are always a healthy option for you.

  1. Are hot dogs healthy during pregnancy?

Hot dogs are not very safe for pregnant women. This is because they may contain Listeria, a harmful bacteria.


To conclude, you should always eat hot dogs in moderation. Hot dogs are not very healthy because they contain processed meats, excess sodium, and fats.

If you want though, you may always opt for the healthier alternatives of the hot dogs.

We hope that this article could enlighten you with information about the health effects of hot dogs.

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