Hot dogs and hamburgers are popular just about anywhere. But when it comes to nutrition, which one is healthier?
The Nutritional Value of Hot Dogs and Burgers
A typical hot dog contains about 150 calories, and when combined with a bun and standard toppings like ketchup, mustard, and relish, the calorie count can rise to 300-350 calories.
While hot dogs are a relatively low-calorie option, they are highly processed and contain lots of sodium and nitrates.
These chemical compounds are used to preserve processed and smoked meats, which have been definitively linked to cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Even organic or gourmet versions of hot dogs carry the same risk, making it essential to limit processed meats in your diet. But a hot dog every now and then, especially in the context of an overall healthy diet with plenty of veggies, fruits, and plant foods, isn’t going to cause harm.
On the other hand, a 4-ounce burger made from 85-percent lean ground beef contains close to 300 calories without the bun and toppings. Adding a bun and cheese increases the calorie count to approximately 500 calories.
Red meat, in general, is a probable carcinogen and has been linked to diabetes and heart disease. But consuming a single hamburger once in a while won’t negatively affect your overall healthy diet.
Which is Healthier?
From a calorie standpoint, the hot dog wins, but from an overall perspective, the hamburger is the better option. The 4-ounce hamburger contains six times the amount of protein as a hot dog and a quarter of the sodium, making it the better nutritional bargain.
Protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, which is beneficial when surrounded by other food options at a barbecue or baseball game.
Tips for a Healthier Hot Dog or Hamburger
Whichever option you choose, there are several ways to make them a bit healthier:
- Consider the Toppings. Adding toppings like chili and cheese increases the calorie and sodium count. You may want to skip these additions or opt for healthier options like grilled onions and mushrooms.
- Choose Whole-Grain Buns. Whenever possible, go for whole-grain buns, or skip the bun altogether to reduce calorie and carbohydrate intake.
- Watch What You Eat and Drink. If the hot dog or hamburger is the main event, consider lightening up on the sides. Skip the fries and choose a salad or coleslaw instead. Also, avoid sugary drinks and opt for water or unsweetened beverages.
If you want to order quality burgers and hot dogs in USA, try Five Guys.
The burger vs hotdog debate continues in this video: