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Which Hot Dog Should You Eat?

Applegate Hot Dog

Which Hot Dog Should You Eat?

Fourth of July is RIGHT around the corner + what food is really popular for cookouts?! HOT DOGS! Yaaaasss, I want to talk to you about hot dogs + getting the right kind of hot dogs because it matters. There are really .99 cheap hot dogs that gives you a great price tag, but it’s an awful thing for your health. With animal products, I preach that QUALITY MATTERS. What did those animals eat? How were they taken care of? How was this packaged together?

What To Look For

One of the very first terms that I look for when I’m buying hot dogs is GRASS-FED. Plain + simple. What the cows eat always shows how they lived. When cows are grass-fed, you can picture them grazing the pasture, eating grass, soaking up the sun, basically living their best life as a cow! This is their majority of their diet + what is recommended!

Another term I look for is UNCURED. The curing process is there to prevent food spoilage and nitrites/nitrates are added during curing. While I look for uncured on the label, technically, most lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, etc are naturally* cured. But, looking for things that are uncured will help avoid nitrite/nitrate additives and they should only have a natural form via celery powder. The debate is high on this if this really matters to our health, but as always, do the best you can with each situation and choose natural over industry additives.

If you find HUMANELY RAISED on a package, that would be ideal too! Naturally, most grass-fed beef carries this term due to their upbringing. But, I love companies that have a mission to humanely raise cows + NOT factory farming. I do look for ORGANIC too, as organic stands for…

Organic products, including animal feeds, are produced without the use of pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering or other excluded practices, sewage sludge, or irradiation.

Applegate

Organic is always what I tend to choose, but there are a couple of examples below that aren’t technically “organic”, but still a good option for healthier hot dogs. Looking for the term ANTIBIOTIC + HORMONE FREE is helpful too to avoid animal products that are pumped with hormones. Hot dogs naturally should be GLUTEN FREE, but you never know in this society! We use the craziest ingredients in foods that you wouldn’t expect it, so when they promote gluten free, that gives me a peace of mind!

While some people get freaked out of what is INSIDE the hot dog, I find that this isn’t something to be freaked out about. Most companies listed below use various beef parts (like the chuck and the roast), BUT if by chance they put some organ meat in there (I don’t think any of these brands do), that is FREAKING AWESOME. We’re meant to eat “nose to tail” as our ancestors and as a society, we basically just eat the muscle meat. Do you know how much nutrition is in the organs, skin, etc? A LOT and they are some of the most nutrient dense parts of the animal. So, if you could hide that in something like a hot dog for me – I would be forever grateful because I don’t like the taste of organ meats………yet.

Which Hot Dogs Are Best

Applegate

Applegate’s Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog is usually cheaper than their organic version (below) and both versions are pretty awesome, considering their both grass-fed and checks off all my other “wants” in a hot dog. I do have to remind people that no one is perfect, this is better than Oscar Meyer, so a win no matter what you choose + I’m guessing hot dogs aren’t a huge part of your diet, right? 😉

365

Now I do love 365 brand because you get more savings + they check off all my “wants” in a hot dog too! With Whole Food meat products, they have the colored box {the green box} and they rate their products + what you’d want to look for is STEP FOUR – pasture centered!

Teton Waters

These aren’t organic, but they do check off everything else! I love Teton Waters Ranch because they bring their products to Costco + you can get bigger size packaging for a better deal! 🙂

True Story

Fork In The Road

Have you tried any of these brands before? What do you look for when you’re buying hot dogs? Make sure you enjoy your cookouts with a healthier version for you + your family!

Lahana Vigliano
lahana@thrivalnutrition.com

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Thrival Nutrition. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and currently pursing her Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@thrivalnutrition).