Hot dogs are a quintessential American food. And for good reason: they’re great for summer grilling and are an easy weeknight meal, too.
This comfort food is also a good source of protein—just be sure to check the nutritional profile to ensure your hot dog habit doesn’t derail your health goals.
Of course hot dogs aren’t a superfood, but their health quotient has improved because companies are making them without mystery meat and questionable additives.
So how do you pick a better protein? Look at the size of your dog, says Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital.
“Jumbo, stadium, and bun-length dogs can be almost double the size of a regular hot dog and have more of everything—including calories, fat, and sodium,” she tells Men’s Health.
She recommends choosing a hot dog that contains at least 7 grams of protein. And more importantly, Boehmer says hot dogs don’t need to be excluded in an otherwise well-balanced diet.
“I would advise being conscious of overall intake rather than scrutinizing the one hot dog you eat over the weekend,” she says.
Finding a better-for-you hot dog that’s nutritious and tastes good can be daunting. That’s why we did the work for you and found the finest franks available.