(HealthAndLovePage) Who doesn’t like hot dogs? Kids, adults, men, women, people all over the world enjoy this tasty snack. Parents find this meal especially helpful because it doesn’t require much time or some special preparation. In most cases, you can simply put the hot dogs in the microwave and after few minutes, you will get a delicious meal for your kids.
Hot dogs are part of the American tradition and this is especially visible on holidays when people organize picnics and eat tons of hot dogs. According to some statistics, Americans consume about 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
This is not some new trends so one may ask why we come up with this topic now?
L.A. Times has recently published an article that reveals some shocking information about hot dogs. For example, a USC epidemiologist has conducted a research about hot dogs and children and published it in a cancer research journal. According to this research, children who consume more than a dozen of hot dogs every month have 900% more chances of developing childhood leukemia.
Furthermore, two more scientific studies published in Cancer Causes and Control Journal show that mothers who have consumed at least four hot dogs per month give birth children that have 100% more chances to develop brain tumors and the same risk is noticed in children conceived by fathers who were fond of hot dogs before conception.
What’s inside the hot dogs?
Hot dogs are rich in nitrite additives. These substances are known for their ability to form carcinogens once they are inside our system. So, it is no surprise why there are so many initiatives to ban nitrites especially after three different scientific studies have confirmed that these substances found in hot dogs are directly responsible for the increased numbers of childhood cancer.
Meanwhile, watch this video and decide for yourself whether to continue eating hot dogs or not.
Peters and other researches mentioned in L.A. Times article, wanted to learn more about the link between the changes in diet and the possibility of developing leukemia in children between 1 and 10 years. This study lasted for seven years (1980-1987). The study confirmed that children who consumed more than a dozen of hot dogs every month have nine times more chances of developing leukemia. As previously mentioned, the risk were the same for fathers who have consumed similar amount before conception.
Scientists Savitz and Sarusua have tested children in their childhood cancer research and they have managed to confirm that mothers who had more than 4 hot dogs in their diet during pregnancy transferred the risk of brain tumor in their children and this risk was increased for 100%. The same thing was confirmed for young children who ate more than a dozen of hot dogs per month.
Bunin and other scientists have concluded that regular and excessive consumption of hot dogs during pregnancy was directly linked with the increased risk of brain tumors in children.
How exactly could hot dogs result in cancer?
In order to protect the consumers from botulism and other illnesses, hot dog manufacturers use different preservatives in hot dogs including nitrites. When the hot dogs are cooked, nitrites are bonding with amines found in the meat and they create carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds.
There are some indications that this combination of nitrites and amines can take place in the stomach and speed up this process of formation of dangerous N-nitroso compounds. It has been scientifically proven that these compounds can cause cancer and their presence was confirmed in cases of cancer of the urinary bladder, oral cavity, stomach, esophagus and even the brain.
In case you didn’t know, nitrites can be found in many other foods including vegetables. Celery, spinach and green lettuce are especially rich in nitrites. Since we all know that vegetables aren’t related to cancer and as a matter of fact they reduce the risk of cancer development, the question is how this is possible.
The answer is simple – vegetables contain large amounts of Vitamin C and D too and that’s why they don’t allow formation of N-nitroso compounds. So, you should definitely keep vegetables as part of your diet. It is also good to mention that many other food products like meat (especially fish and bacon) contain nitrites, but thanks to the other ingredients found in them they are not harmful.
There are many different hot dogs on the market and the good news is that not all of them contain nitrites. The advance of technology has allowed manufacturers to avoid using nitrites in their products. Today, these substances are mostly used in order to get a distinctive color.
There are hot dogs that are completely free of nitrites and they can be easily recognized through their color. They are brownish, but it seems that their color makes them less popular which is apparently very wrong. Once they are prepared properly, these hot dogs are healthy and safe and don’t come with any side effects.
Few Things That You Can Do to Protect Your Children from Unhealthy Hot Dogs
- Avoid buying hot dogs that contain nitrites. You can easily find this ingredient listed on the package. It is crucial for children and prospective parents to avoid eating more than a dozen of hot dogs per month.
- Ask your local store to get hot dogs that don’t contain nitrites (notify the management about the possible risks).
- Get in touch with your local school board and see whether children eat hot dogs that contain nitrites in the cafeterias. Ask for nitrite-free hot dogs and explain the possible dangers of nitrites found in hot dogs.
- Contact the FDA and tell them about your concern that this type of hot dogs is not labeled as potentially risky for children.