If You Like Hot Dogs, You Should Read This Article

Although hot dogs are really yummy, they're also very unhealthy. If you like hot dogs, you should definitely read this article!
If You Like Hot Dogs, You Should Read This Article

Last update: 14 January, 2019

Hot dogs are a very popular “food”, especially in the United States, where people eat approximately 50 of them a year. Everyone knows that this food isn’t exactly the most recommended. Besides lacking the nutrients the body needs, it contains a lot of ingredients that can negatively affect your health.

However, hot dogs have become popular as an alternative food that many people frequently include in their diet because they’re cheap and delicious.

It’s true that eating a hot dog once in a while doesn’t hurt. However, a recent study states that eating this food every day increases the risk of developing cancer by 21%, which is comparable to the risk of tobacco.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC suggests preventative medicine and a vegetarian diet as a base for a healthier lifestyle.

The group of doctors believes that hot dog makers should include a warning for the consumers just like what is done for cigarettes, in which they explain that frequent consumption of processed meats increases the risk of developing colon cancer, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease.

Studies show the risk of eating hot dogs


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) released an important report in 2009 after combining the data from 7,000 scientific studies on hot dogs and their relationship to cancer.

The AICR found that for every 50 grams of processed meat one eats every day, the risk of colon cancer increases by 21%. However, people don’t take the health risks into account.

Later studies assessed the damage and danger of eating hot dogs every day and found that out of 143,000 people that were affected every year, 53,000 died. Is this not enough to be worried?

Although some supporters of this food state that the numbers are exaggerated and that it’s ridiculous to compare eating hot dogs with smoking tobacco, many studies have been able to support that the ingredients in hot dogs have serious negative health effects.

What you’re really eating when you eat hot dogs

A hot dog.

Some studies suggest that the carcinogenic effects of hot dogs stem from their nitrates and nitrites contents but, besides that, other factors in the creation process also have an influence.

In order to make this delicious sausage that’s so great to eat and always looks so fresh in refrigerators, the makers add a lot of chemicals that many of us ignore and are the main causes of health problems.

But besides those chemicals, which considerably improve the flavor of this “food”, the health risk is due to the low quality of production of these foods.

Most of them, but not all of them, use meats and meat sub-products from concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), where animals live in poor health, overcrowding, and anti-hygienic conditions.

The goal of these companies is to get a very cheap “food” as a result, but not a quality one. In the creation process of hot dogs, they use very low amounts of quality meat and, in their place, they process what many consider waste, which includes cartilage, fat, and entrails.

Additionally, subjection to high temperatures, exposure to bacteria, high sodium contents, the stuffing, flavorings, and conservatives make this product a true health enemy.

This article may interest you: Nitrite Additives in Hot Dogs are Carcinogenic


Many people still don’t know the many risks of eating hot dogs frequently because advertising and the market have made the consumer blind and lead people to believe that nothing will happen if they eat this “food” frequently.

On the other hand, some hot dog makers have started to share the risks of eating this food frequently, but they also keep coming up with advertising strategies to counteract this and make consumers addicted to this product.

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Although sodium nitrate is a permitted food additive, over time it can form nitric oxide or nitrosamines, which are carcinogens.

  • EFSA. (2003). Opinion of the scientific panel on biological hazards on the request from the commission related to the effects of nitrites/nitrates on the microbiological safety of meat products. EFSA Journal. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2004.14
  • Galán-Vidal, C. A., Castañeda-Ovando, A., Páez-Hernández, M. E., & Contreras-López, E. (2014). Determination of nitrites in commercial sausages by anthocyanins degradation. Experimental design and optimization. Journal of the Mexican Chemical Society. https://doi.org/10.1213/01.ane.0000271914.54261.17