Eating Hotdogs When Pregnant – Side Effects & Dangers

During pregnancy, your body goes through an array of changes to accommodate for the baby growing inside you. Therefore, it is vital to maintain your fitness and also to be aware of what you can’t and can do.

With the average person consuming 50 of them per year, the hot dogs are one of America’s most popular fast-foods, according to the American Meat Institute’s “National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.”

For instance, on a single July 4 day alone, Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs, which is sufficient to stretch from L.A. to D.C. over five times.

The problem is that hot dogs are one of the most nutritionally empty foods (just like all fast-foods). A typical pork hot dog has approximately 18 g of total fat (7 grams of the total fat content is made up of saturated fats), 204 calories, and 620 g of sodium.

This is before condiments like mustard, ketchup, and relish are added – that add even more fat and sodium.

Side Effects Of Eating Hotdogs When Pregnant

Colorectal Cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, eating just one hot dog a day increases your risk of colorectal cancer by 20%. Moreover, an analysis of the diets of 1,660 individuals concluded that the risk of getting bladder cancer is considerably increased when processed meats are consumed.

In addition, processed red meat is linked with a 10% increased risk of prostate cancer with every 10g of increased intake, as per an NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

The main reason may be due to the fact that hot dogs are high in sodium nitrate and nitrite (salts added from synthetic chemicals or natural sources to increase product shelf life).

Even though nitrites themselves are usually not harmful, the problem arises when they are exposed to the acidity of the stomach because they can form nitrosamines, potent carcinogenic compounds.

Other types of cancer that have been strongly associated with regular hot dog consumption include – brain cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma cancer.


A high-fat meal, commonly known as the western diet, increases the chance of type 2 diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a common form of heart disease, in which plaque forms in the artery walls and restrict blood flow to organs, such as – the brain, heart, and kidneys, as well as to the spine, pelvis, legs, arms, toes, and fingers.

Atherosclerosis usually begins in childhood. Hence, it is important for adolescents and children to adopt heart-healthy nutrition to help prevent the development of heart disease in adulthood.


One hot dog has approximately 44 percent of the maximum daily recommended intake of sodium, which is less than 1500mg, according to the American Health Association.

Regular excessive sodium intake may cause the body to hold on to too much water, which increases blood pressure. An overload of sodium in the diet can also lead to dehydration symptoms and severe alterations in renal and cardiac function.


Children who consume more than a dozen hot dogs every 30 days have 900 percent more chances to develop leukemia (cancer of the blood cells), according to a 1994 study done at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Other risk factors that have been identified include – specific chemotherapy for cancer, radiation exposure, family history of leukemia, smoking cigarettes, and exposure to benzene.


Hot dogs are prone to infection with Listeria monocytogenes, a harmful bacteria which causes listeriosis, a type of food poisoning that may result in stillbirth, miscarriage, or other health problems.

Foods frequently identified as sources of Listeria monocytogenes infection include –  cheeses (especially soft-ripened varieties, like – the traditional Mexican cheeses), improperly pasteurized fluid milk, unwashed raw vegetables, ice cream, cooked and raw poultry, fermented raw-meat sausages, and ready-to-eat sliced meats (also known as “deli meats”).

Foods to Eat When You’re Pregnant

Fiber-Rich Foods

Foods high in dietary fiber are good during pregnancy because they prevent glucose intolerance, a pre-diabetic state which can occasionally lead to gestational diabetes.

There are two types of dietary fiber – insoluble and soluble:

  • insoluble fiber does not break down in the human digestive system. Instead, insoluble fiber passes through the digestive system, helping other foods move through and absorbing water along the way.
  • soluble fiber can absorb water, making stools easier to pass and softer. In addition, soluble fiber has the added benefit of binding with cholesterol, thus, reducing your risk of cardiovascular problems.

Foods rich in fiber include – chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, red kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, navy beans, mung beans, oats, oat bran, mango, papaya, apple, pineapple, or pears.


Folate, also referred to as vitamin B9, is used to make the extra blood your body needs during pregnancy. More importantly, folate reduces the chance of neural-tube defects. Also, according to studies, consuming folate-rich foods before conception reduces the risk of low birth weight.


Omega-3 fats are essential fats, which means that you can only get them from your food. These fatty acids are required for the development of the baby’s nervous system, brain, and retina.

Omega-3 rich foods include – cashews, flax seeds, chia seeds, wild rice, millet, pinto beans, red kidney beans, navy beans, kale, Macadamia nuts, pistachios, rice bran, soybeans, mung beans, sesame seeds, or pecans.

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