Hot dogs and hamburgers are two of America's favorite fast foods. And, given that McDonald's is the most profitable fast-food chain in the entire country, it's safe to assume that the hamburger is king in the fast food world.
As for hot dogs, they sell out pretty quickly during baseball season and consumption hardly drops during the off-season anyway.
But say you're weight-conscious or simply into fitness, which one of these two fast foods would be better for you if you felt like swerving off route every now and again? The folks at NBC News looked into it and have noted the pros and cons of eating either.
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A hot dog typically contains 300-350 calories, with an average frank around 150 calories, and the bun, ketchup, mustard and what have you making up the rest. That's actually not so bad for food you'd find at a stadium. But looking beyond the calories and macros, you'd have to consider the fact that franks are highly processed.
They also contain loads of sodium and nitrates used for the preservation of processed and smoked meats. Processed meats, as you should already know, are linked to cancer and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies them as carcinogens.
A carcinogen is defined as any substance capable of causing cancer; and sadly, hot dogs, bacon and some deli meats fall under.
However, having a hot dog every now and then isn't thought to be all that dangerous, especially if it's just a cheat meal playing rogue in an otherwise healthy diet.
Burgers, on the other hand, are usually made from 85-percent lean ground beef. A four-ounce burger is around 300 calories, but throw in the bun and a slice of cheese, as well as the familiar, palatable condiments, and you're likely to find that it's well over the 500 mark.
Burger meat isn't processed, but it is red meat. And the above agency lists red meat as a probable carcinogen. So, while it's not as bad as a frank, it's not that much better either.
Hot dogs are clear winners if you're only considering calories; you won't gain as much weight from eating hotdogs as you would burgers. Holistically, though, burgers are better. A four-ounce burger has around six times the amount of protein in a hotdog and a quarter of the sodium.
Of course, it helps if you could stay away from both of them. But everyone needs a bit of fast-food joy in their lives from time to time, so it's always great to know what exactly you're taking in.