Well, for starters, it is the healthiest I could find for my family. What? A hot dog, healthy? Perhaps. Stay with me.
This is a "nitrate-free" hot dog.
What does this mean? Let me break it down for you.
1) NITRATES: Nitrates are used in many foods as a preservative and a curing agent. Some people call it "pink salt" and also get categorized as nitrites. Some foods that traditionally contain them are bacon, lunch meats, and hot dogs. There are nitrates occurring naturally in some vegetables, like celery, so some food manufacturers choose to cure meats with celery salt and use the label "no nitrates added" or "uncured."
Personally, I have been avoiding nitrates for over ten years. There was a period where I did some food journaling and a found a powerful connection between eating nitrates and getting a massive migraine headache shortly after. Consuming artificial nitrates can cause a slew of other side effects like stomach issues, hardening of blood vessels, and blue baby syndrome. It is also frowned upon for women to eat nitrates while pregnant. All around, these preservatives are not good for you or your children.
So when I switched to "no nitrate" foods I noticed I had fewer migraines, I felt less sluggish, and it made me happy I was attempting to be healthier.
What is the alternative? Look for foods that are labeled "Nitrate-Free" or No "Nitrates Added." These are the foods where companies are taking a stand and creating healthier alternatives for health-conscious people. I have tried these foods and to my surprise I did not get a migraine from eating them. And I didn't taste a difference either!
Granted, I don't serve my family a hot dog very often, and I certainly don't eat bacon every day. But I can, in good conscience, eat a nitrate-free version and feel good about it. Besides, I am a full on carnivore and I don't think I could live a life without these foods completely. I hope you make the switch to take better care of yourself and your family. Happy cooking!
Below I've gathered some links so you can read more detailed information about nitrates.