Anatomy of a Hot Dog

The Physicians Committee

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Drop the Dog

Anatomy of a Hot Dog

What's in a hot dog, and why does it pose serious health risks?

  • Nitrates and Nitrites produce carcinogenic compounds. They also cause the hardening of arteries and may increase risk of diabetes.
  • Heme Iron is related to the formation of N-nitroso compounds that may lead to colorectal cancer.
  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) are carcinogens formed by cooking and grilling at high temperatures.
  • Saturated Fat and Cholesterol lead to LDL deposits in arteries, causing narrowing and blockage which can result in heart attacks or strokes.
  • Salt is linked to both high blood pressure and stomach cancer.
  • Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a chemical compound that increases the risk of heart disease.

What is processed meat and why is it unsafe to eat?

Processed meat are meat products which have been preserved with additives or cured, smoked, or salted to improve color, taste, and durability. Examples are wide-ranging and include ham, bacon, pastrami, and salami, as well as hot dogs and many sausages.

Examples of processed meat include: deli meat, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, ham

Why should I be worried?

  • Cancer: Eating processed meat increases your risk for colorectal cancer.
  • Heart Disease: Studies show just one hot dog a day increases your risk for heart disease.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Eating processed meat has an impact on the cells of our body and can play a role with getting diabetes.

Lose the Hot Dog and Find Your Health

Cutting processed meat from your diet is a sound decision in improving your health, as these products are linked to a number of potentially fatal diseases.

Are you in? Sign your name and tell us why dropping processed meat matters to you.