Peak hot dog season has started on Memorial Day, here are the health concerns

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Let’s be honest. When it comes to Memorial Day and summer picnics and barbecues, the food item that usually comes to mind first isn’t kale. Instead, it’s hot dogs. If you go to an outdoor event in America in the coming months, there’s a good chance you’ll see these edible cylinders of meat on the menu. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that during peak hot dog season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans will consume approximately seven billion hot dogs, which amounts to approximately 818 hot dogs per second. Hot dog. But just because you see hot dogs often doesn’t mean you have to eat them every time.

Speaking of time, a study published in 2021 in the journal Natural food estimated that eating a hot dog could cost you 36 minutes of healthy living. That’s about one episode of the TV show Ted Lasso, depending on the season. Yes, hot dogs are not exactly considered a healthy food. If anyone recommends an all-out hot dog diet to you, be skeptical, be very skeptical.

Hot dogs are basically a type of sausage food that you can eat. In this case, sausage means sausage and not the worst. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “sausage” as “a seasoned minced or ground meat (such as pork, beef, or poultry) stuffed into casings, usually from prepared animal intestines or made into patties.” Keep in mind that not all sausages are created equal and are necessarily bad for you. The health consequences of a sausage depend greatly on the ingredients and how they are made. However, there are several aspects of hot dogs that put them on the much less healthy side of the sausage spectrum.

First, hot dogs have gone through the ripening process and are usually highly processed. And cured and processed meats are generally not good for you. About ten years ago, in October 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). place processed meat in the category “carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)”. This meant that there was sufficient evidence that processed meat causes cancer in humans. In this case, it is the colorectal cancer of the specific cancer.

The curing process involves immersing the meat in salt, which can cause hot dogs to have a decent sodium content. High sodium intake, in turn, can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer and several other conditions.

Sodium or potassium nitrite is also added as a curing agent during the curing process. Nitrites also give hot dogs their pink hot dog color. Throughout the cooking and digestion process, these nitrites can eventually be converted into N-nitroso compounds, which are N-non-nitroso good for you and have been linked to certain cancers and other health problems.

Second, there is the saturated fat content of hot dogs. When choosing the meat for hot dogs, manufacturers do not just choose the leanest meat. Instead, you can get all kinds of parts from cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, or a combination thereof. One dog can typically give you more than a quarter of the maximum amount of saturated fat you should consume in a given day, although this can vary depending on what’s in the hot dog. Consuming saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

Third, hot dogs can contain all kinds of additional ingredients that vary from hot dog to hot dog. This includes preservatives and things to improve the taste of hot dogs, such as sodium phosphate, potassium lactate, and other things. So check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nutrition Facts label for that specific hot dog to understand what specifically you are consuming. Additionally, people can put different things on hot dogs, such as ketchup, which may contain even more things that are not good for you. So pay attention to what’s going on with the dog you’re eating.

One thing you may be wondering about in the case for or against hot dogs is the casing that surrounds the meat. If you hit your face with a hot dog, you will notice that there is a spring in the outside of the dog. That’s because the blended hot dog meat is stuffed into a casing to maintain the cylindrical shape of the hot dog. This cover can be made of natural or synthetic materials. Consider the intestines of sheep or pigs, which are cleaned before they are used. The casing can also be made of collagen from bovine proteins, cellulose or other stuff. While such casing materials are not necessarily bad for you, you still want to know what specifically can be part of or added to this casing.

Now hot dogs have nutritional value. A single 1.5-ounce hot dog can provide about 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of protein you should get each day. Hot dogs may contain vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

Ultimately, life is about moderation. You don’t have to avoid hot dogs completely. It’s probably okay to eat a hot dog here and there. Don’t make such a sausage festival an ordinary thing.

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