Healthy Hot Dogs with 6 Grams of Fat or Less

You don't have to give up hot dogs at summer cookouts, but for heart health, you should be choosy. These flavorful franks have no more than 6 grams of fat per serving and as little as half the sodium and calories of the average hot dog.

By Marsha McCulloch, M.S., R.D.


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Yes, There are Heart-Smart Hot Dogs!
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Yes, There are Heart-Smart Hot Dogs!

    During hot dog season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), Americans typically eat 7 billion hot dogs. Heart-Healthy Living did the legwork for you and found five heart-smart hot dogs you can enjoy using the following criteria:

    -- Tastes great

    -- Lower fat: 6 grams of fat or less per serving (half the fat of typical hot dogs)

    -- Lower sodium: Less than 480 mg sodium per serving (the lower the better)

    Bonus: Hot dog brands scored extra points for being antibiotic-free, nitrite/nitrate-free, and Kosher

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Lowest in Sodium: Boar's Head Lite Beef Frankfurters

    This skinless beef frank is one of the lowest-sodium wieners in supermarkets and has half the fat (6 grams versus 13 grams) of standard beef hot dogs. It's also dairy-free and gluten-free.

    Per 1 frank (45 g): 90 calories, 6 g total fat (2.5 g sat. fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 7 g protein

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Traditional Favorite: Oscar Mayer Light Wieners Made with Turkey & Pork

    You won't miss what makers cut from this traditional-tasting hot dog, which has 45 percent less fat and a third fewer calories (90 versus 136 calories) than the leading wiener on the market.

    Per 1 frank (45 g): 90 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 5 g protein

    Food Safety Tip: Heat hot dogs to 165 F before eating.

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Cholesterol-Free: Yves The Good Dog

    One of the main ingredients in this vegan wiener is soy protein, which may help reduce heart disease risk. This dog is also cholesterol-free and has 65 percent less fat than a regular beef frank.

    Per 1 frank (38 g): 70 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 430 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 8 g protein

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All-Natural: Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

    All-natural eaters, this dog is for you. It's made from beef raised free of antibiotics and omits sodium nitrite (which preserves meat and adds red color but has been linked with a slight cancer risk). It is also gluten-free and casein-free.

    Per 1 frank (43 g): 80 calories, 6 g total fat (2.5 g sat. fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 5 g protein

    Storage Tip: Keep opened hot dog packages in the refrigerator up to one week.

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Best-Tasting: Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Beef Franks

    This kosher hot dog is not only low in cholesterol, low in fat (in fact, it's the lowest of the bunch!), and moderate in sodium, but it also scored highest on taste among our top picks.

    Per 1 frank (49 g): 45 calories, 1.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 2 g carb., 6 g protein

    Storage Tip: Keep opened hot dog packages in the refrigerator up to one week.

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Bonus: Hot Dog Bun and Condiment Picks

    Pepperidge Farm whole grain white hot dog buns list whole wheat flour as the primary ingredient and have 220 mg sodium each.

    B&G unsalted sweet relish has 0 mg sodium per tablespoon compared with standard relish averaging 122 mg.

    Hunt's and Heinz no-salt-added ketchups save you the 190 mg of sodium in a tablespoon of regular ketchup.

    Also, Westbrae Natural and East Shore Foods offer mustard with 0 mg sodium.

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