The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Store-Bought Hot Dogs

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Calories: 110Fat: 9 gramsSodium: 500 milligramsCholesterol: 25 milligramsThis hot dog is 98 percent grass-fed beef (which is an important quality for some consumers) and water; the other 2 percent is sea salt, spices, garlic, onion, paprika and celery powder. If you want to keep your meal as healthy as possible, steer clear of sugary condiments and sauces and don't pile on greasy toppings.

Courtesy of Applegate

All Beef: Healthiest: Organic Prairie Organic Uncured Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs

Calories: 160Fat: 13 gramsSodium: 450 milligramsCholesterol: 40 milligrams

Like Applegate's, this hot dog doesn't contain any funky stuff: just organic beef, water, sea salt, cane syrup, celery powder, spices, onion and garlic.

Courtesy of Organic Prairie

All Beef: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Beef Franks

Calories: 180Fat: 15 gramsSodium: 510 milligramsCholesterol: 30 milligrams

These hot dogs are made of much more than beef. They contain ingredients like corn syrup, hydrolyzed beef stock and sodium phosphate. Sodium phosphate may sound like a dangerous chemical lurking in your food, but it's simply another form of salt. Eating too much sodium could have an affect on your blood pressure. 

itemmaster/Ball Park

All Beef: Unhealthiest: Sabrett Natural Casing Beef Frankfurters

Calories: 170Fat: 15 gramsSodium: 470 milligramsCholesterol: 35 milligrams

In addition to containing nearly 30 percent of your recommended daily fat intake, these hot dogs have ingredients such as sodium diacetate, sorbitol and "flavoring." "Flavoring" refers to spices and other compounds used to add flavor.


Low Fat: Healthiest: Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Beef Franks

Calories: 45Fat: 1 gramSodium: 490 milligramsCholesterol: 15 milligrams

This hot dog is primarily beef, water and modified potato starch used as an extender, along with standard processed hot dog ingredients like sodium lactate, hydrolyzed soy protein and sodium diacetate. The low-fat label might sound appealing, but these hot dogs rely on other fillers in order to keep the calorie count so low. Opting for low-fat versions of your favorite foods is often a "healthy" habit that's actually not that healthy at all. Hebrew National's beef is kosher, however, and the hot dogs contain no artificial flavors, artificial colors or animal by-products.

Itemmaster/Hebrew National

Low Fat: Healthiest: Boar's Head Lite Beef Frankfurters (Natural Casing)

Calories: 90Fat: 6 gramsSodium: 270 milligramsCholesterol: 25 milligrams

Boar's Head Lite Beef Franks contain far less sodium than your standard dog, and they're made from just eight ingredients: beef, water, salt, paprika, sodium phosphate, flavorings, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. If you're craving something sweet afterward, try finishing off your meal with one of these fruit-filled desserts perfect for a barbecue.

Low Fat: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Lean Beef Franks

Calories: 80Fat: 5 gramsSodium: 480 milligramsCholesterol: 20 milligrams

These are primarily beef, water and modified corn starch, and other ingredients include corn syrup, sodium phosphate and sodium diacetate; they're nitrate-free. But full-fat hot dogs are usually less processed. If you didn't know that, you definitely didn't know these other surprising facts about hot dogs.

itemmaster/Ball Park

Mixed Meat: Healthiest: Applegate Naturals Stadium Beef and Pork Hot Dog

Calories: 110Fat: 9 gramsSodium: 360 milligramsCholesterol: 30 milligrams

These hot dogs are made of mostly beef, pork and water. Other than that, all that's in them is spices and the lamb casing. Pair your hot dog with one of these side dishes for a relatively healthy summer meal.

Courtesy of Applegate

Mixed Meat: Healthiest: Oscar Mayer Classic Uncured Weiners

Calories: 110Fat: 10 gramsSodium: 420 milligramsCholesterol: 12 milligrams

Oscar Mayer's classic wieners do contain mechanically separated chicken and turkey (which you can read all about here), but they contain less fat and cholesterol than the competition, and the newly revamped formula means that the only other ingredients are pork, water, salt, dextrose, corn syrup, white vinegar, celery juice, sodium phosphate, cherry powder and flavorings.

Itemmaster/Oscar Mayer

Mixed Meat: Unhealthiest: Kayem Beef and Pork Hot Dogs

Calories: 140Fat: 13 gramsSodium: 430 milligramsCholesterol: 25 milligrams

This hot dog has more fat than some of the other options, as well as more cholesterol. It also has more ingredients, including corn syrup, potassium lactate and dextrose. Dextrose is a sugar. Many types of processed meats contain extra sugars, as well as nitrates and salt. 


Mixed Meat: Unhealthiest: Boar's Head Pork and Beef Frankfurters

Calories: 150Fat: 14 gramsSodium: 460 milligramsCholesterol: 25 milligrams

While the ingredients for this mixed-meat hot dog are missing from Boar's Head's website, this brand has more sodium and fat than most other hot dogs of its kind. Your body actually needs some sodium to stay healthy - but if you overdo it, you might put your heart at risk.

Turkey: Healthiest: Applegate Naturals Turkey Hot Dog

Calories: 70Fat: 3.5 gramsSodium: 450 milligramsCholesterol: 35 milligrams

These turkey dogs contain 98 percent meat and water; the other ingredients are salt, paprika, onion, garlic, cardamom, coriander, mace, ginger, black pepper, celery juice powder and cherry powder. If you don't have a grill, try cooking these on the stove or in the oven and pair it with some no-cook sides for a simple summer dinner.


Turkey: Healthiest: Trader Joe's Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs

Calories: 90Fat: 3 gramsSodium: 670 milligramsCholesterol: 50 milligrams

The ingredients in Trader Joe's Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs are simple: turkey, water and seasoning. However, be wary of the sodium in this brand. Due to nitrates added during processing, too many of these hot dogs could send your blood pressure through the roof. While this option isn't bad, there are certainly healthier options at Trader Joe's.


Turkey: Unhealthiest: Foster Farms Turkey Franks

Calories: 140Fat: 12 gramsSodium: 480 milligramsCholesterol: 50 milligrams

Not only do these contain more cholesterol than just about any other standard-size frank on the market, they're also made with mechanically separated turkey. As for the rest of the ingredients, they include a mix of nitrates and sugars as well as corn syrup solids, spices and flavorings.

Foster Farms

Turkey: Unhealthiest: Ball Park Turkey Franks

Calories: 110Fat: 7 gramsSodium: 540 milligramsCholesterol: 35 milligrams

These are loaded with sodium and mechanically separated turkey. Interestingly enough, they also contain beef stock to enhance flavor. The sodium sent this turkey dog to the bottom of our health ranking. If you do choose to eat one, you may be wise to limit these other common foods you'd never guess are loaded with salt.

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