One reason that processed meats like lunch meat, bacon and hot dogs, are so unhealthy is because they contain unhealthy preservatives called Nitrates.
Q. How could hot dogs cause cancer?
A. Hot dogs contain nitrites which are used as preservatives, primarily to combat botulism. During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.
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The good news is that preservative-free meats are now much more readily available. Our Super Target even carries them now and so does Kroger/Ralphs. Your local health food store will definitely carry them. Ive had one really bad brand of preservative-free hot dogs (frozen section at Kroger) but the rest all taste the same. Even Oscar Myer has one now, I found it right there, with the other hot dogs. I love that my boys can have something "normal" like a hot dog every once in awhile, but do it in a much healthier way. :)
Because these foods are VERY high in sodium, they should still be eaten only occasionally.
If you check out my friends blog, the Green Republican, you'll see her post about Applegate Farm's new hot dogs that are made from Grass-fed beef! That is the healthiest option!