4th of July: Steaks – In, Hot Dogs – Out

hot dogs

Fourth of July is coming up, a big holiday for our nation, and for hot dogs. After reading this, you may want to reconsider what you put on the grill.

Scientists at the Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, followed 37,000 middle aged men over the course of 12 years. In 1997, none had heart disease, and they filled out an eating habit questionnaire.

In a recently published report, the researchers show that men who had more than 2.5 ounces (a single hot dog, or 3 slices of ham)  of processed red meat per day had a 28% higher chance of heart failure than those who consumed less than 1 ounce. The men who reported eating unprocessed red meat (steak and other cuts), did not exhibit a higher chance for heart failure compared to the average population.

Please remember that correlation does not prove causation. The processed meat eaters may have had other habits that exacerbated their situation (smoking, drinking, etc…). And yet, 800 thousand people a year suffer from heart failure. Half of them die within 5 years.

This summer, perhaps less hot dogs on the grill, and a bit more steak?

Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Prospective Study of Men – Kaluza, Åkesson, Wolk – Circulation: Heart Failure, April 2014.


  • Corey Rowland

    I think both hot dogs and steaks should be eaten in very limited amounts. Processed or unprocessed, they’re both red meat.

  • Emma

    Or marinate some portobello mushrooms in your sauce of choice and grill those up instead :)

    • Corey Rowland

      Good idea!

  • Seajay

    I know hotdogs are bad but how is bacon not considered in the same boat?? Everyone always says “you should only eat 1 or less hotdog a year” then goes and chows down on a pound of bacon. They’re both full of nitrates and nitrites and everything else that’s bad for you but bacon is practically praised by just about everyone (except most fooducators).

  • H2O

    The more processing the more poison . Hot dogs are not even worth eating . You don’t even really know what’s in it. At least with a steak you have an idea where it came from. A hot dog comes from anything and everything that they can put in it. Not to appetizing.

  • Karrina

    I buy organic uncured turkey hot dogs, I’m actually eatin one now. Are those bad?

  • Neal

    I believe any processed meat should be avoided. If you can’t give up hot dogs or bacon then I would suggest what I do, buy organic or look for meats that does not have preservatives ie: Nitrates or Nitrites. Added note don’t barbecue your hotdogs as the smoke is very dangerious to your health.

  • Stefan

    Buffalo > Cow. It’s leaner and healthier, plus they’re 100% grass fed and free-range.