by Rachel Larkey from Around the Plate
The hot dog we all know and love has been around for a long time. In fact, some records indicate hot dog-like foods going as far back as the 9th century B.C. And although they are one of the most popular processed foods around, the health concerns associated with eating them has caused many individuals to rethink their hot dog consumption.
In honor of National Hot Dog Month, here are a few ways to ensure that you can still enjoy one of America’s favorite summer foods without sacrificing your health.
Find Your Healthy Hot Dog
Many of the concerns surrounding hot dogs have to do with their long list of ingredients. This list can often include many harmful or just plain icky substances such as nitrites, fillers, and meat “trimmings” (the leftover parts of animals). While none of this sounds appetizing, there is a surefire way to avoid these unsavory and worrisome ingredients: read the label!
When you are shopping, keep a close eye on what makes your hot dog a hot dog.Your best bet is going to be one that is made from only one type of meat, preferably coming from an organically raised animal that wasn’t treated with any antibiotics or hormones. You will also want to scan the ingredient list for any fillers that might be present. Remember, the smaller the ingredient list, the better! Also keep an eye out for overall calories, sodium and saturated fat. A good rule of thumb is to find one with 150 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 370 mg of sodium or less.
Dress Your Healthy Hot Dog
After you’ve picked a healthier hot dog, you can really have some fun amping up its nutritional value! First, start by swapping out traditional white buns for whole wheat varieties. Then top your hot dogs with fresh veggies and healthy, homemade spreads! For example, top your “dog” with fresh guacamole and some diced jalapeno peppers for a fun Mexican twist! And, as always, be sure to enjoy your healthy hot dogs in moderation!
Luckily, the healthy hot dog trend is growing! Applegate Farms – a leading producer of healthy, organic hot dogs – is even teaming up with Around the Plate to give three lucky winners an awesome prize package including $50 worth of coupons for some quality hot dogs!
Be sure to enter the contest, and enjoy National Hot Dog Month!