Which Is Healthier: Hamburgers or Hotdogs?

Everything in moderation...

Not to rain on your summer barbecue parade, but did you ever wonder, which delicious summertime staple is better for you?

The experts weigh in. They say, both hamburgers and hot dogs are hyper-caloric foods with a higher saturated fat content relative to other foods or sources of meat. 

Summer is a time when people fire up the grill and indulge in delicious hot dogs and hamburgers, but it’s important to remember that these foods may not always be the healthiest options.

Here’s the breakdown of the nutrition content of burgers and hotdogs.

If you want your burger to be better for you, the experts say to seek out grass-fed, grass-finished organic lean ground beaf, which can reduce saturated fat content.

Store-bought burger patties often contain added sodium, preservatives and other additives to enhance flavour and prolong shelf life…

Avoid terms like ‘pre-seasoned’ or ‘fully loaded’ as they may indicate higher fat and sodium levels.

Hot dogs, are often high in sodium and saturated fat, which can negatively impact your health. 

When purchasing hot dogs, choose ones labeled ‘uncured’ or ‘nitrate-free’ to minimize exposure to potentially harmful additives. When it comes to buns for burgers or hotdogs try looking for whole-grain buns…

Hamburger vs. Hot dogs- Which is better for you?

Experts say, both can be enjoyed in moderation! When it comes to the overall nutritional profile, though, the expert says that “hamburgers made with lean meat and loaded with veggies tend to offer a better balance of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.”

Burgers that are typically made with ground beef, can provide a significant amount of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients,” he says. “However, they are often higher in saturated fat and calories.” 

Hot dogs are generally lower in calories and fat, but they may contain more sodium and processed ingredients.

In a head-to-head comparison, you can much more easily choose a healthier option in hamburgers relative to hot dogs simply because hot dogs are, by nature, a significantly processed product without quality meats being sourced for the vast majority of products. 

A note about grilling

The cooking method of grilling hot dogs or hamburgers (or any kind of meat for that matter) isn’t health supportive. 

“It’s important to note that grilling meat at high temperatures can lead to the formation of potentially harmful compounds, such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),” says Schuff. “These compounds have been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer.” 

“Overall, these are foods that should be reserved for special occasions and not foods that are consumed on a regular basis, especially with the risks associated with grilling meats and converting surface compounds to more dangerous chemicals,” he adds.