Hot dog days of summer: Is the cookout favorite really that bad for you?

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(WYTV) – What’s summer without a hot dog? Or maybe more than one — maybe lots more? How bad can it be?

Hot dogs are made of processed meats, which really aren’t healthy if you’re gobbling them up all the time.

Dieticians say it’s best to save hot dogs for special occasions.

“Try not to include them on your grocery list,” said Julie Zumpano, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic. “Try not to include it as a regular item being served for a meal, but use it only for special occasions and do it in moderation. If you can’t resist a hot dog at a baseball game, stick to just one and enjoy it. Same with a cookout.”

What about alternatives to beef hot dogs? Turkey dogs sometimes have less fat and sodium. Vegan options may contain less saturated fat.

Still, it’s best to have hot dogs only once in a while. Go easy on condiments, too — they can be loaded with salt and sugar. As far as buns, whole wheat is the way to go.

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