The Classic Hot Dog: Healthy Alternatives

Few foods are loved more than the sausage, which clocked up $3.85bn in revenue last year. That’s despite the World Health Organization saying that sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer.

They said that every 50g portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by a monstrous 18%. Don’t ditch the dog though – you can lighten them up with the right ingredients and sides. Here’s how to hit a home run with the healthy version of the ballpark dog.

 

Use rosemary

Not only will it make your sausage more flavorsome, but research suggests that cooking meats with rosemary lowers their cancer-causing compounds. This is because, when meat is grilled, toxins called heterocyclic amines are created. These toxins have been linked to some cancers. However, adding a bit of rosemary to your meat can help produce antioxidants that reduce these toxins by up to 90%, so season away.

 

Go nitrate-free

Research in BMC Medicine found it was the carcinogenic nitrosamines formed during salting, pickling or smoking that can up your mortality risk. So when choosing your bangers, go to a local butchers and ask for the nitrate-free variety.

 

Uncured

That’s the buzzword you need to look for when buying sausage to ensure it hasn’t been treated with any nasty preservatives. However, make sure the sodium content is below 450mg.

 

Change up your bread

Opt for Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted buns when giving your sausage a home. They have more fiber and grains than traditional white bread. Throwing high fiber foods between 25g and 30g into your daily diet is essential for maximizing your health gains, according to research in Trends in Food Science & Technology.

 

Load up on sauerkraut

Skip the fried onions and pile on the sauerkraut to that hotdog instead. It’s great for gut health and also a fantastic way to boost your immune system boasting high levels of vitamins A, C, K and B.

 

Make your ketchup at home

We already know that ketchup isn’t good for for us. It’s filled with sugar and calories galore. Instead, blend your own ketchup from tomatoes, a tsp of vinegar and a sweetener of your choice. Even better, reach for the mustard. It is a must-have thanks to its ability to restrict the growth of cancer cells.

 

Find food tips to help you maintain your gains and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.

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