This reason will make you stop feeding hot dogs to your kids now!
A huge billboard showing an image of hot dogs peeping out of a cigarette pack is getting viral around the city. Not just the unusual packing, the main attention is directed towards the skull and crossbones emblazoned on the cigarette pack. Along with the image, there is a warning saying, “Hot dogs can wreck your health.” The American Institute of Cancer has declared that even 50 grams of processed meat consumption will increase the risk of cancer by 21%. Of course, this is a shocking news for all the hot dog lovers out there. Moreover, unfortunately, every meal that comprises of hot dog is taking you a step closer towards colorectal cancer.
Although we truly love the flavor of hot dogs, we need to control our consumption owing to their harmful health effects. You must be wondering, what had just turned your favorite food into a pack of lethal substance in a short while! It is the use of nitrite that has caused all the issues.
Let us see why you should avoid nitrite-containing hot dogs and processed meats.
1 Truth about Hotdogs
Hot dogs are made up of processed meats that are high in fats, sodium, and nitrates. The meats that you eat in hot dogs are not originally pink; it retains the pink color because of the nitrates used. They not only add to the color of the meat, but also provide a longer shelf life. Even the growth of bacteria is prevented with the use of nitrate. We are so accustomed to the flavor of nitrates that our taste buds crave for them.
So, the reasons above are sufficient to explain why some of the producers use nitrates in hot dogs.
2 What are Nitrates?
If you look into this scientifically, then it is an additive that can preserve your foods for months. On the other hand, if we peer into its natural side, then it acts as a natural antioxidant. We often consume sodium nitrates in our daily meals via different kinds of vegetables and fruits. When digestion takes place inside our body, the nitrates breakdown into nitrites. Sodium nitrite acts as an antimicrobial inside our body.
Our body naturally produces the required amount of nitrites and thus, we really do not need an additional intake.
3 What Nitrites Do to Us
The chemical additive ‘nitrite’ is used in hot dogs to fight botulism (a rare, potentially fatal, acute neurologic disorder caused by toxins produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum) and to retain the pink color, as already mentioned earlier. At the time of cooking, when these nitrites are exposed to high temperature, they tend to mix with amines already present in the meat we eat. When nitrites and amines combine together, they form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are also known as carcinogens.
So, whatever we call these compounds, the subject of concern is that – these compounds damage our cells. Moreover, they may cause cancer affecting various organs of the body, such as the stomach, brain, esophagus, urinary bladder, and oral cavity. This is one main reason why health experts recommend avoiding the intake of hot dogs.
4 Who Are at Risk?
Although cancer generated by the consumption of hot dogs is targeting every age group, kids are more susceptible to cancer than adults. Hot dogs are considered the root cause of cancer across the country.
Consumption of one or more hot dog within a week increases the risks of brain cancer. Every year, approximately 143,000 Americans are detected with cancer and around 53,000 die of it. The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study claimed that with every 10 grams of increased meat intake, the risk of prostate cancer increases by 10 percent.
5 What You Should Avoid
One thing that you need to be aware of is – your baby starts his/her food intake while he/she is still inside you. This means whatever you consume has a direct effect on your baby. In a research, it was found that kids, whose mother was on a regular consumption of hot dogs during pregnancy, developed a higher risk of brain cancer. So, you need to nourish your sweetheart right from the time you conceive. A proper check on food consumption is required.
So please remember and spread the message – say no to hot dogs while you are pregnant!
6 Fathers too are Responsible
Of course, kids are also their busy fathers’ responsibility as well. According to the research, the risk of leukemia increases in children whose father consumes 12 or more hot dogs in a month. Why to risk your kid’s life just to please your taste buds? Shift on to something healthy and interesting rather than gulping down a pack of nitrites. You will not only improve your health, but will also set an example of healthy eating for your little ones. After all, kids learn what they see and no parent would want their kids learn unhealthy eating habits.
If we go across all the surveys and research news, hot dogs should completely be avoided to keep your loved ones healthy and safe. It is better to opt for the nitrite-free hot dogs available in the market. In case it is beyond your reach, better avoid eating hot dogs altogether because at the end, it is going to drain your health and pocket. Even if you are continuing with the consumption of nitrite loaded hot dogs, reduce it to once a fortnight.
Be a better parent – keep your kids away from nitrite containing foods like hot dogs.