The 6 Best Fat-Free and Low-Fat Hot Dogs—They Taste Amazing!

backyard movie night grilled hot dogs toppings
Photo: Rebekah Molloy

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, it's a real council), the average American eats a whopping 70 hot dogs per year. Eating them every once in a while is totally okay, but 70 hot dogs is more than one per week. So, for hot dog lovers everywhere, we've hunted for ones that still pack the flavor but are lower in salt, fat, and calories. The average frankfurter has 190 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 500 milligrams of sodium, and that's sans condiments and buns. These low-fat and fat-free hot dogs are great for your heart—and your taste buds.

01 of 08

Healthy Hot Dog Criteria

blue tray of hotdogs with a variety of condiments
Blaine Moats

In order to make our approved for summer cookout list, each healthy hot dog must:

  • Taste incredible, of course.
  • Fall into "low-fat hot dog" territory, with 6 grams of fat or fewer per serving (half the fat of typical hot dogs).
  • Also land in the "low-sodium hot dog" category, with fewer than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Be widely available, because what good is a healthy hot dog if you can't find it? All of these are sold at major retailers.

Buy It: The Candery All-in-One Hot Dog Accessories Set (Amazon)

02 of 08

Best Beef-Based Low-Fat Hot Dog: Ball Park Lean Beef Hot Dogs

Ball Park beef hotdog package
Courtesy of Ball Park

Per 1 frank (50 g): 80 calories, 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 5 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 480 mg sodium

Made with 100% beef, these healthy hot dogs have zero artificial colors or flavors. Just enough salt and a dash of paprika extract ensure the spice is right, and the results are similar to the franks you enjoyed at baseball games or cookouts as a kid. (Cracker Jacks and homemade s'mores are optional, but recommended, to complete the nostalgic experience.)

03 of 08

Best Classic Turkey Dog: Jennie-O Turkey Franks

Jennie-O turkey franks package
Courtesy of Jennie-O Turkey

Per 1 frank (34 g): 70 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 4 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 380 mg sodium

Are turkey hot dogs healthy? They can be, but it's important to examine the nutrition facts and ingredients list closely. This recipe is made from turkey raised with neither antibiotics nor hormones. That doesn't mean it's lacking flavor, though. Its paprika and natural smoke flavor will remind you of grilling recipes you've enjoyed at more indulgent feasts.

04 of 08

Best Plant-Based Healthy Hot Dog: Lightlife Vegan Smart Dogs Veggie Protein Links

Lightlife smart hot dog package
Courtesy of Target

Per 1 frank (43 g): 60 calories, 2.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 8 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 270 mg sodium

Plant-based eating is a growing food trend, and these low-sodium hot dogs are a shining example of how delicious the vegetarian life can be. With each bite, you can rest assured that the dogs are completely vegan, meaning they're also cholesterol- and saturated fat-free. Soy protein isolate and pea protein amp up the protein to trump any other links on this list.

Buy It: Lightlife Plant-Based Hot Dogs (Target)

05 of 08

Best Low-Calorie Beef Hot Dog: Hebrew National 97% Fat-Free Beef Franks

Hebrew National beef franks package
Courtesy of Hebrew National

Per 1 frank (45 g): 45 calories, 1 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 6 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 490 mg sodium

If you've shopped the meat case at a major supermarket, you might have asked yourself, "Are Hebrew National hot dogs healthy?" They're practically ubiquitous, and we'll admit that not all their products earn top nutrition marks. But these low-fat hot dogs are also very low-cal and are built around a base of kosher beef and soy protein, then seasoned with paprika, garlic, and more to meet our healthy criteria.

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06 of 08

Best Uncured Healthy Hot Dog: Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs

Applegate natural uncured turkey hot dog package
Courtesy of Applegate Farms

Per 1 frank (47 g): 70 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 7 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 450 mg sodium

Minimally processed and with a super-short ingredient list, these low-fat hot dogs will please both clean eaters and picky eaters. Featuring humanely raised turkey, sea salt, vinegar, cherry powder (for color), spices, and nothing else, these dogs are ones you can feel good about sharing with your family. (By the way, they're gluten-free and Whole30-approved, if you need it.)

Buy It: Applegate Natural Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs (Target)

07 of 08

Best Low-Calorie Veggie Hot Dog: Yves Veggie Cuisine The Good Dog

Yves the good dog package
Courtesy of Yves Veggie Cuisine

Per 1 frank (38 g): 45 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 7 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 260 mg sodium

Seeking low-sodium hot dog brands? Vegetarian recipes are often your best bet. These tofu- and soy-based vegan dogs have the least salt of any on this list, and they manage to pack more protein than a medium egg. Tomato extract lends their vibrant hot dog hue, while mustard and other seasonings spice things up.

08 of 08

Healthy Hot Dog Condiment Picks

Easy Pico de Gallo
Andy Lyons

Now that you have several options for healthier hot dogs—including low-sodium, low-fat, and beyond—let's talk toppings. It's important to also consider how you dress your dog so you don't undo all of your efforts to find a healthy one. Store-bought condiments are often loaded with unnecessary extra sugar and sodium, so we recommend going the DIY route. Each of these homemade condiments clocks in at fewer than 50 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, and 70 mg sodium.

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