By Carmen Staicer
Chief Mom for DietsInReview.com
I spend a lot of time at the pool with my kids, which means that we spend lots of time eating at summer barbecues. Just like many American kids, this means one thing for my children – hot dogs!
There’s nothing more social than a cookout, and nothing more prevalent than hot dogs on the grill. They’re yummy and easy to cook. But we all know (or should know) that they aren’t the best dietary choice. So I wonder, is there a way to keep hot dogs in your diet and minimize the harm? Let’s take a look.
There are several reasons hot dogs aren’t good for you: they’re high in fat and calories, and the ingredients are sometimes questionable. Then you have nitrates (a known carcinogen), which are added to keep the hot dog pink and free from botulism. But they taste so good! And the reality is, unless you are a vegetarian, summer time is all about hot dogs on the grill.
So, how can we make hot dogs a better food choice? There are some delicious alternatives to the standard hot dog available:
- What about low-fat chicken or turkey dogs? Healthy Choice and Ball Park make low-fat choices that rate high on the taste scale.
- Applegate Farms sells an organic beef hot dog that contains no nitrates and is lower in fat.
- Trader Joe’s sells a yummy store brand.
- Vegan or soy dogs can be a good alternative, even if you aren’t strictly vegetarian yourself.
Choose a whole wheat bun, ketchup and mustard free of high fructose corn syrup, and you have a lunch that is healthy and delicious! Now, if only there was a way to make all the side dishes low-cal and fat-free, I think I’d enjoy barbecues even more!
Want to learn more about healthy food alternatives? Check out Dietsinreview.com.