While hot dogs may taste amazing, they don’t do wonders for your waistline if you eat too many of them!
There are typically 150 calories in a hot dog, but this does vary based on variety. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not much of your daily allowance. However, once you start adding bread, ketchup, mustard, and other tasty toppings, the calories soon rise.
So, is there a way that you could enjoy hot dogs on a more regular basis without feeling guilty about it?
Below, we will take a look at some healthy hot dog ideas so that you can enjoy your favorite snack while also keeping the calories as low as possible.
Opt for an organic, grass-fed hot dog
There are so many different brands and types of hot dogs in grocery stores nowadays. Don’t simply grab the first or cheapest pack of hot dogs you lay your eyes on. Instead, make sure they are organic and grass-fed.
Organic hot dogs utilize meat that has been raised humanely and fed certified organic grass or grains. Organic meat also does not contain any pesticides or hormones that tend to be found in traditional farming, meaning it is better for you and the environment.
Grass-fed beef hot dogs are also recommended because they tend to be lower in fat and calories. They also contain more omega-3s and good fats. You can also expect grass-fed beef to have more minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants when compared with the grain-fed variety.
Choose a healthier condiment
Mustard and ketchup are the traditional choices when enjoying a hot dog. However, they are packed with sodium and sugar. Instead, look for condiments that are low in sodium so that you can add flavor and freshness. Salsa is a great option.
If you do not feel like you can give up the ketchup and mustard combination, make sure you read the bottles carefully so that you can choose a low-sodium option.
You also need to be mindful of sugar when buying ketchup. You can find sugar-free ketchup on the supermarket shelves these days, and we would highly recommend going for this. While it tastes the same, it is a lot healthier.
If you are feeling adventurous, you could even make your own ketchup. Yes, this requires a bit more effort, but you will have complete control over the ingredients being used.
Go for a wholegrain hot dog bun
Swapping your refined white bun for a wholegrain one is a great option to consider. While white bread may be the typical choice for a hot dog, it contains pretty much carbs only, with virtually no fiber. What this means is that it will spike your blood sugar levels because it will be digested so quickly.
Instead, opt for a whole grain hot dog bun, which will offer fiber and a number of other nutrients.
Want to go even healthier?
If so, why not wrap your hot dog in a lettuce leaf instead, creating your own lettuce bun for a tasty carb-free option.
You could also go bun-less or simply use half a bun, keeping the top open so that you can half the number of calories you consume.
Try a hot dog made from turkey
Another way to switch up your hot dogs and make them healthier is to opt for a turkey hot dog.
Turkey hot dogs are lower in calories when compared with beef or pork hot dogs. In one turkey hot dog, there are usually around 130 calories.
You can also expect to get a good helping of protein if you have a turkey hot dog for your dinner. Each turkey hot dog will typically provide you with between five and seven grams of protein, depending on the brand you purchase.
Not only is this a healthy option, but they taste pretty amazing too!
Try a vegetarian hot dog
A meatless hot dog is pretty much always a winner when looking for something healthier!
Made from soy protein, vegetarian hot dogs have fewer calories and unhealthy fats when compared with the traditional meat variety.
As an extra benefit, they have much fewer chemicals as well. However, you still need to make sure you check the sodium levels when purchasing a vegetarian hot dog. Sometimes, meatless hot dogs can be loaded with sodium to add flavor and make up for the lack of meat.
High levels of sodium can be pretty scary. This can result in heart disease, high blood pressure, or even a stroke, so you really need to be mindful of how much sodium you consume.
Top your hot dog with vegetable toppings
To make your hot dog as healthy as possible, add plenty of fresh vegetables. There are so many options! Chopped onions never fail, adding plenty of flavor and crunch.
Other options include:
- diced avocado
- shredded cabbage
- chopped tomatoes
If you like a bit of heat, why not go for chopped banana peppers or jalapeno?
It all comes down to your personal preference. If you like intense flavors, consider scallions, cilantro, cumin, and other fresh herbs and spices. The sky is the limit!
Time for a hot dog?
So there you have it: some of our top ideas for healthier hot dog ideas.
We hope that this has given you some tasty and helpful suggestions when it comes to enjoying a delicious, guilt-free hot dog at dinner time.
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