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Examiner
  • Lori Boyajian-O'Neill: What's the best dog for that bun?

  • If it is baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, it must the Fourth of July. We will collectively consume 150 million hot dogs on The Fourth. Nobody would suggest that hot dogs are healthful. But, if we must eat one (or three) we can at least try to select a brand that is more healthful than others.

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  • If it is baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, it must the Fourth of July. We will collectively consume 150 million hot dogs on The Fourth. Nobody would suggest that hot dogs are healthful. But, if we must eat one (or three) we can at least try to select a brand that is more healthful than others.
    Hot dogs and health, what do you know? T or F?
    1. Veggie dogs are more healthful than meat hot dogs.
    2. Low fat are most healthful of all hot dog products.
    3. Cured hot dogs are more healthful than uncured.
    The hot dog case at the local grocer is becoming as overwhelming as the cereal aisle. There are staple brands like Oscar Mayer and Ball Park and a host of designer dogs which contain veggies, cheeses and other non-traditional ingredients. Made from a base mixture of beef, pork, chicken, turkey or vegetables they are brought together with cereal fillers, artificial flavorings, salt, sugar and starch. Curing them with nitrites and nitrates makes them able to withstand a nuclear holocaust. Are there any healthful hotdogs or is this a fantasy wish? Many would say fantasy, but there are some that are less unhealthful or more healthful, depending on how you look at it.
    Hot dogs are cured, uncured, beef, chicken, turkey, veggie and mixed meat. A good guide is to look for dogs that have less than 150 calories, fewer than 14g fat with no more than 6g of saturated fat and less than 450mg sodium. Cured and combination products are even more highly processed than their cousins and should be avoided. Low fat products are often cured and filled with cereals, artificial flavorings, modified food starch and loads of sodium. These additives make up for the change in mouth feel and taste that occurs when fat content is limited or removed from foods.
    Veggie dogs, so-called not dogs, are not necessarily more healthful than their meat counterparts. They too may be cured, high in saturated fats and have an abundance of artificial fillers. If you prefer not dogs then Lightlife Smart Dogs may be a good choice for you with 45 calories and 310mg sodium.
    All-beef sounds so all-American and what could be wrong with that? Plenty. Beef means any part of the cow. Any part. Applegate Farms Great Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs have a much better profile with 110 calories and 330 mg sodium than Ball Park Franks which have 190 calories and 550 mg sodium, which means youll never get your rings off!
    Applegate Farms Great Organic Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs is also a better option than most of its competitors. Oscar Mayer Classic Turkey Franks, for example, are made from mechanically separated meat, pink slime, have 100 calories and a whopping 510 mg sodium. To put that in perspective, the daily recommended intake of sodium is less than 2,300mg or even lower for those with diabetes, hypertension and other chronic medical conditions.
    Page 2 of 2 - Trader Joes Uncured Chicken Hot Dog is made from boneless, skinless thighs and breasts, have 60 calories with 2.5 g fat and 250 mg sodium. This is a much better option than Rocky Dogs which have 110 calories, 470 mg sodium and 10 grams of fat.
    We Americans love the Fourth of July from parades to fireworks and all the eating in between. Most of us cant even imagine the celebration without hot dogs. Nathans Hot Dogs, famous sponsors of the annual eating contest, each have 170 calories, 15 grams of fat and 470 mg sodium. Last year's winner downed 68 of them including bunsin 10 minutes! Do the math. All the numbers lead to dialysis.
    Happy 4th!
    Answer: 1. F; 2. F; 3. F.
    Dr. Lori Boyajian-O’Neill can be contacted at lori.boyajian-oneill@hcahealthcare.com.
     
     
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