When it comes to an all-American day out at the baseball field, there are very few meals more widely eaten than a hot dog with fries. Summer usually brings about barbeques loaded with hamburgers, veggies, and of course, hot dogs. It’s a favorite snack of millions of people, and though it never was considered to be a healthy food, it wasn’t always considered to be a dangerous food. Now, there is some evidence suggesting that hot dogs might be a reason why some people get cancer. Are these rumors true? Well, the evidence is still piling up.
Hot Dogs Don’t Cause Cancer!
According to About.com, there have been literally dozens of studies on the link between hot dogs and colon cancer. Some of them show a positive correlation, while others don’t. A lot of the evidence that links hot dogs and cancer could be explained by the fact that the death rate for all cancers (along with heart disease) spikes when a person eats more than one serving of meat per day. However, not all of it can be explained so simply.
Hot Dogs Can Cause Cancer!
In fact, there is a good reason why people are beginning to suspect that hot dogs can cause cancer. Hot dogs are quite possibly one of the most processed meats on the market, and a lot of the processing has caused health conscious people to raise their eyebrows. This is because they are loaded with nitrites, which have been linked to a slew of different health problems. Nitrites tend to create a very toxic cancer-causing chemicals that are linked with a brain, mouth, colon, and stomach cancers. One study revealed that children who ate 12 hot dogs a month are 9 times more likely to develop childhood leukemia.
There have been plenty of doctors who adamantly state that hot dogs can cause cancer. In fact, one group by the name of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine likened eating hot dogs regularly to smoking cigarettes. Whether it actually is that toxic still has to be seen.
Dangerous Hot Dogs Vs. Safe Hot Dogs
One of the reasons why a lot of the studies might not have found a link between hot dogs and cancer could be explained with the kind of hot dogs that you use. Though nitrites are very common in most hot dogs, there are some nitrite-free hot dogs out there. Eating hot dogs that aren’t high in nitrites might be what you need to do to avoid having a higher risk of cancer. It’s also noted that having hot dogs that are made out of soy, or going vegan one day a week could help keep cancer at bay.
There is a lot of truth in the old adage, “You are what you eat.” If you eat food that you know is bad for you, then your health won’t be what you would hope it to be. Still, life is made for enjoying, and you shouldn’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite hot dogs. As long as you practice moderation, you shouldn’t worry about whether or not hot dogs cause cancer. Moreover, with nitrite-free hot dogs, you might be able to avoid the cancer risk altogether. However, the results in studies have been very mixed, so you might not even have a risk to worry about at all. We have to wait to find out more about the risks of hot dog eating contests before we overreact.