Consumer Reports: Tasty and Healthy Hot Dog - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Consumer Reports: Tasty and Healthy Hot Dog

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While hot dogs can taste great, they're not the greatest food for you. A hot dog can contain 16 grams of fat, lots of sodium, as well as nitrites and nitrates as preservatives.

Consumer Reports just tested more than 600 hot dogs from 23 brands to find some tasty, healthier choices. In addition to beef, some of the franks are made of turkey or chicken. But just because they're poultry doesn't mean they're necessarily better for you. The Bar S Jumbo Chicken Franks had as much fat as some of the beef hot dogs.

There are also uncured hot dogs that promise "no nitrates or nitrites added." Those preservatives are used to cure hot dogs, but they can also occur naturally in some seasonings and flavorings. And it turns out several uncured brands have as many nitrites and nitrates as some of the regular hot dogs.

As for the fat-free hot dogs Consumer Reports taste tested, none are recommended. They were rubbery or mushy and they had little meat flavor.

But several of the lower-fat hot dogs tasted nearly as good as their full-fat cousins, with around half the fat. Consumer Reports says a good choice is Boar's Head Lite Beef Frankfurters.

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