What is in a hot dog? Is it good food for your children?
The World Cancer Research Fund recommends us to avoid all processed meats. But children just love hot dogs! The Research Centre take a look at what goes into making a hot dog in a commercial setting. Its findings seem to justify that it comes out with this warning .
Read the article by DAVID DERBYSHIRE in the MailOnline (attached below).
Hot dogs have Paprika extract, Carmine (both natural food coloring) in them. The other ingredients are milk protein, water, Polyphosphates (another additive common in food is the E452, an emulsifier and stabiliser, improving the texture of the hot dog and stopping fat going rancid. It also helps prevent food-poisoning bugs. In the human body, E452 breaks down into phosphate and there is no evidence of a health risk,). It tells us that many of the other ingredients added are not so conducive to good health.
Take meat. Traditionally hot dogs are made from pork trimmings, these are the pieces left over after chops, bacon and ham has been cut away. Chicken or turkey is also added.
But this is not what you get in the Red Dogs varieties on sale at Tesco. These varities contain very little real meat. Instead, they are made up of 64 per cent mechanically-recovered chicken. Only 17 per cent is pork. So, it is more like you are getting chicken hot dog.
What is mechanically-recovered meat, it is the slimy paste created when a carcass — stripped of all traditional cuts — is forced through a metal sieve or blasted with water.
The process is banned for beef after the BSE scare of the Nineties, but is permitted for pigs and poultry, Why do you think this mechanically- recovered meat is used. It is because the meat produced is ten times cheaper than normal meat.
Perhaps surprisingly, there is nothing particularly unhealthy about the product, and it’s approved by the Food Standards Agency. But under EU food rules, it is not classed as meat and must be labelled as mechanically recovered.
The meat is ground into a paste and mixed with water, preservatives, flavouring and colours.
The article states that many UK hot dogs have a similar meat profile. But not all.
Salt – can increase risk of high blood pressure
Hot dogs contain around 2 per cent salt and if hot dogs are eaten in excess it can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. A warning here!
What is the recommended amounts for adults and the children? A single 35g frankfurter has up to 0.6g of salt — one tenth of a teaspoon and one tenth of an adult’s daily recommended amount.
Children aged four to six should have no more than 3g of salt a day, according to the Department of Health, while children up to three should have no more than 2g.
According to Consensus Action On Salt, salty diets increase the risk that children will suffer high blood pressure as adults, and increase the risk of brittle bone disease, asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.
Sodium nitrite – not good, can increase risk of cancer
Processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer and sodium nitrite is thought to be largely to blame. It is added to hot dogs to stop them going grey, and keep microbes at bay. So, parents have a responsibility to be aware of this.
Studies on animals have linked sodium nitrites to an increased risk of cancer.
The World Cancer Research Fund carried out a global study on the dangers of processed meats and found that people who regularly consume 50g of processed meat a day which is equivalent to one-and-a-half hot dogs (just image only one-and-a-half hot dog — increase their chances of getting bowel cancer by 20 per cent. The charity believes nitrites are largely to blame.
In the body, nitrites can react with protein-rich foods such as meat to produce N-nitroso compounds, or NOCs. Some types of NOCs damage the DNA in our cells and cause cancer.
In 2006, scientists analysed more than 60 studies and found that nitrites are also linked to higher risks of stomach cancer.
Sodium ascorbate – can cause skin irritation
A form of vitamin C, sodium ascorbate is an antioxidant and acidity regulator that stops meat losing its red colour and which speeds up the curing process.
At the low doses in hot dogs, it causes no problems.
But when taken in large doses as a vitamin pill it can cause skin irritation.
Even if you buy only the finest, most natural hot dogs, you’re not out of the woods.
Even if all these warnings do not move you, beware for hot dogs are one of the most dangerous foods you can give to young children. In America, they account for an extraordinary 17 per cent of all child choking cases and kill around 80 children a year.
They are particularly risky for children under four because they easily get lodged in the airway and are difficult to shift.