Eating Big Wieners!
Get the facts about hot dogs, the American food, how they’re made, what they have in them and how this can affect your body.
So what do you think of when you hear “American Food?”
For a while, it kind of confused me. What is American Food? And I thought about it, and guess what I came up with?
A hot dog. Nothing says America better that a hot dog. In fact, it’s so American, at Seven Eleven they sell over a hundred million of them a year.
So today, we’re obviously going to talk about the All-American Hot Dog. But before we get into that, I want to play a little game with you. Here’s the question: How many calories is a hot dog, and also, more importantly, how many of those calories are from fat.
So would you guess that a hot dog is ten percent fat? forty percent fat? Fifty percent fat? or higher?
Go ahead and pause the video and put how many calories and how many of those calories are from fat.
So when you normally think of the All-American Hot Dog, you associate it because of baseball games and barbeques where you have hot dogs.
It’s interesting to note that the names that we use to call hot dogs, like franks, weiners, things like that actually originated from cities in Europe. For instance, “frank” comes from frankenfurter which is from a town, Frankfurt, in Germany. Also, when you think of the word “weiner” it’s from Weinerschnitzl, which is short for Vienna sausage which is a town, of course, Vienna.
Now the word hot dog itself, you might wonder why do they call it a hot dog.
That came actually because it was rumoured that it actually had dog meat in it back in the eighteen hundreds. In Coney Island, where they were selling these, it was such a problem for people that they actually passed a law that you couldn’t call it a hot dog anymore.
You had to call it something different. That’s where we get the word “coney” from. Coney Island, exactly.
Joe Chestnut won the world record for the most hot dogs eaten; sixty-six in twelve minutes. That’s insane.
The longest hot dog there ever was was sixty meters, about 200 feet long.
So how do they actually make hot dogs? Well, they actually use a process called mechanically separated meat, whether it be chicken or beef, where they have a butcher that has a bone, and the rest of the meat that’s left on there, they put it through this machine, they use this pressure to scrape off, and get everything, every last little piece off of that bone.
Then it turns into a paste where they actually then squeeze it into a shell, and that’s what you’re eating as a hot dog, basically, the leftovers. At the beginning of the video I posed a question.
How many calories are in a hot dog and also how many of those calories are fat? The percentage? And I have right here with me the nutrition fact for an Oscar Meyer Beef Frank. 130 calories, of which 110 calories are from fat, which means, of those 130 calories eighty five percent is fat. That’s almost nine tenths of the hot dog being fat.
Let’s say you had a piece of chicken, a steak, various forms of meat, if you were to cut all of the fat off of those pieces of meat and then put them in a pile, a fat pile, literally, if you were to look at that you wouldn’t necessarily go, “Oooh, Yum!” Or at least if you did it would be kind of weird to me. But that’s literally what they did with the hot dog.
They take all of that fat, all of that leftover fat, and then they put it into a paste, texture it, process it in such a way that it actually tastes ok, add some different chemicals to it, and flavorings, and then, that’s what you get.
You get a hot dog.
So, several reasons hot dogs are not the best food to eat are, number one, the amount of fat that’s in there. I’m a nutritionist and I don’t exactly subscribe to “a low fat diet is what’s good for Americans,” however, There is an extreme. You don’t want to have just ALL fat, or eighty-five percent of your calories being fat. That’s not good either. So to take it as far as extremes go, unless you really need that fat, maybe you’re really, really, really skinny and you’re trying to gain a whole bunch of weight and you want to keep fat on, maybe you can do it that way.
But in America, being that sixty-six percent of us are overweight anyway, it’s probably not the best food for us to eat. Number two is the fact that it has a very low nutritional density, so you can imagine, it’s mostly fat, and because it’s so processed, all of those chemicals that are in there, it’s just not all that good for you. It doesn’t have any vitamins or minerals in there. They do add vitamin C to it, but the only reason they add vitamin C is because it has nitrates and they found that if you add vitamin C to a known carcinogen it doesn’t affect you quite as bad.
One argument for how it could be ok is that it has protein, but, considering that out of 130 calories, 110 of them are fat, you get twenty calories of protein for every one hot dog, I think that there are better protein sources out there for you.
On an interesting note, the fact that the meat is cured, they actually add a whole bunch of chemicals in there that basically make it so they wont degrade, which basically means that bacteria can’t digest it.
Well, if the organisms can’t digest it, what does that mean about humans.
Yes, it’s hard to digest a hot dog. There are studies that show that cured meat actually affects the body and some studies show that it might even affect colon cancer, so it is not a good food for that reason.
It’s about as unnatural as you can get. I always like to present an alternative for people that get, that really like or want that type of food.
And the best alternative is probably getting some lean meat, chicken breast or whatever, you can have it ground or not ground, but something that is just not as processed as a hot dog. You can cook it on a grill and then put it on a bun if you really want to.
The other thing you can do is they do make hot dogs that are instead of being cured they are actually just cooked. They are generally found in frozen foods sections.
They have them at like Whole Foods, Central Market, places like that and they are generally less processed, less chemicals and things in there, so those probably aren’t as bad for you as the full on Nitrate-full “cancer-causing” type stuff.
So there’s the skinny on hot dogs. If you found this information cool make sure to leave comments, make sure to rate the video, and subscribe to this channel. We’re always working to get more good information out there and if there are other foods that you are interested in us detailing then just let us know.
Also, go to my website, www.NutritionAustin.com where you can look and find out information about what I do in my nutritional practice. And I’d love to work with you if you’re needing somebody.