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Even though having a hot dog seems like the American way, it may be time to put them down.  

In a recent study by the journal, Nature Food, researching analyzed more than 5,800 foods and ranked them by their impact on health and on the environment.  The researchers considered the risks for diseases like cancers and various heart diseases.


Sources found that by “swapping 10 percent of your daily calories from beef and processed meats (which can include chemical preservatives) for fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and some seafood could potentially lead to health improvements, such as gaining 48 minutes of “healthy life” per day. This swap can also reduce your dietary carbon footprint (aka your total greenhouse gas emission) by 33 percent.”

Specifically what was found was that due to the effect of processed meat, having a beef hotdog with a bun could take 36 minutes off of your life.  On the healthier side, have foods like a serving of nuts can add 26 minutes to a healthy life and a peanut butter jelly sandwich can also add 33 minutes.

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Nutritionists explain different zones of foods by green, yellow, and red. Green foods are the most nutritious and low impact on the environment including nuts, fruits, field-grown vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and some seafood. Poultry, dairy, egg-based foods, and veggies produced in greenhouses are categorized as yellow zoned and red zone foods are mainly processed meats, beef, pork, and lamb. Red zones foods are known to have a negative impact on your health or on the environment.

“Instead of demonizing any single food, one should look at the frequency of which it is included in the context of someone’s total diet,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet.  “Having an occasional hot dog is way different than having a hot dog 365 days per year.”Though it depends from person to person, it’s best to try to maintain a healthy diet, and think twice about that hot dog.

Study Suggest Eating 1 Hot Dog Takes 35 Minutes Off Of Your Life  was originally published on