The hot dog is one of the most popular foods of the U.S. population. It has been estimated that every American eat a hot dog once within a week. However, a lot of people do not know what are the main ingredients of their favorite food.
Unfortunately, a great number of Americans consume hot dogs too often without realizing that they make unhealthy food choices that negatively affect their health.
Namely, according to a USC epidemiologist, kids who consumed more than 12 hot dogs within a month had an increased chance of developing childhood leukemia by 9 times. Another study also found that children who consumed this food once a week had an elevated risk of developing brain cancer.
To be more specific, the study was carried out in Los Angeles County (1980-1987). In addition, it actually tested the correlation between the consumption of specific foods and the possibility of childhood leukemia in kids from birth to the age of 10.
Researchers also concluded that the dietary habits of the parents during pregnancy and before their child is born, can increase or decrease the possibility of their children to develop a certain disease. The results also showed that those children, whose fathers consumed 12 or more hot dogs in a month before conception, were at a higher risk of developing childhood leukemia. Also, those children, whose mothers consumed this food one or more times within a week during pregnancy, had a double risk of brain tumors.
They concluded that hot dogs possess nitrates, which are the ingredients that trigger all these health issues.
According to Alicja Wolk, the high amount of nitrates, phosphates, sodium, and other food additives present in processed red, grilled and smoked meats could lead to an elevated risk of heart failure.
The Canadian Cancer Society explains that these nitrates serve as preservatives to add color to the food as well as protect it from spoiling.
However, it is good to know that nitrites and nitrates cannot trigger cancer by themselves. Specifically, in specific conditions in the body, these ingredients can be transformed into by-products known as N-nitroso compounds, like nitrosamides and nitrosamines. These compounds are linked to an higher risk of developing cancer.
Some preserved meats contain Vitamin C, which is added to prevent nitrites from becoming nitrosamines. So, it could help lower the cancer risk connected to these chemicals.
Here Is How to Reduce Your Consumption of Nitrate-Rich Foods:
- It is recommended to lower your intake of processed foods, including hot dogs, cold cuts, and sausages.
- Always read the labels of products and do not buy products that contain potassium or sodium nitrates and nitrites. Keep in mind that these chemicals may be added in a lot of meats as well as some canned beans and veggies with bacon, and even packaged seafood.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible. Organic foods and meats do not contain any synthetic nitrates and nitrites.
- Check if your water is loaded with these harmful chemicals. In case it contains these toxins, then use a home water distiller to purify it. Also, you can use an ion exchange filter or a reverse osmosis filter to eliminate these harmful ingredients.
- Introduce plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. As mentioned above, vitamin C and some other vitamins can lower nitrite and nitrate conversion to dangerous nitrosamines.
- Gates, Donna. ”The Body Ecology Diet”;
- Wittenberg, Margaret. ”The Essential Good Food Guide”;