You can find them nearly everywhere, from baseball games to patriotic holidays. Hot dogs are widely considered America’s favorite food. They are quick to prepare, inexpensive, and taste great. They are kid-friendly, but can also be dressed up and made into unique gourmet hot dogs for the older crowd. Their versatility makes them a popular food item throughout the country, and even internationally.

Why Are Hot Dogs Bad for You?

Hot Dogs Bad

Although hot dogs are extremely popular, scientists have found them to be incredibly unhealthy for children, as it can put them at a greater risk of developing childhood leukemia.

Related: 8 Common Signs of Leukemia That Shouldn’t Go Unnoticed

Hot dogs contain sodium nitrates, synthetic preservatives that prevent botulism and give the franks the fresh pink color that consumers have come to expect. During the cooking process, nitrates mix with amines, which form when muscle meat is cooked at high temperatures, and create carcinogens, substances that can promote the formation of cancer cells. Nitrates have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary tract, bladder, esophagus, stomach, and brain. According to scientists, eating more than 12 hot dogs per month can increase the risk of a child getting cancer. Vegetables like spinach, celery, and lettuce contain naturally occurring nitrites, but the vitamins present in the produce prevent the formation of carcinogenic compounds.

So how can you avoid developing cancer? Eliminate hot dogs entirely from your diet. Unfortunately, there are many families that will not consider removing hot dogs completely. A great option can be to limit the number of hot dogs children consume on a monthly basis. A hot dog once in a while can have a very small impact on your child’s health, but if you find yourself feeding your children hot dogs often, you may want to cut back.

Avoid Scary Carcinogens


Here are four important measures you can take to help avoid eating dangerous carcinogens:

  • Avoid hot dogs containing nitrates. There are brands that have little to no nitrates in their products.
  • Speak with store employees to receive possible recommendations or substitutes for hot dogs.
  • Contact your child’s school board to ask about the types of hot dogs are being served in the school cafeteria for lunch. If they are not nitrate-free, suggest they switch to a different brand.
  • Write to the FDA and voice your opinion about nitrate hot dogs. Suggest they implement proper package labeling and state which food is cancer-causing.

If you are worried about your child’s health, begin by limiting the number of nitrates they consume, especially in hot dogs, or eliminate them altogether. Try to incorporate healthy substitutes and options for your family’s daily diet.

Related: The 10 Dirtiest Foods You’re Eating


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