6 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Hot Dogs That Taste Great

6 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Hot Dogs That Taste Great

6 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Hot Dogs That Taste Great

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, it’s an actual council), the average American eats a whopping 70 hot dogs per year. Eating them every once in a while is totally okay, but 70 hot dogs equals more than one per week. The average frankfurter has 190 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 500 milligrams of sodium, without condiments and buns. So, for hot dog lovers everywhere, we’ve hunted for ones that still pack the flavor but are lower in salt, fat, and calories. These fat-free and low-fat hot dogs are great for your heart—and your taste buds.

What Makes a Healthy Fat-Free or Low-Fat Hot Dog?

To make our approved-for-summer cookout list, each healthy hot dog must:

  • Taste incredible, of course.
  • Fall into “low-fat hot dog” territory, with 6 grams of fat or fewer per serving (half the fat of typical hot dogs).
  • Also land in the “low-sodium hot dog” category, with fewer than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Be widely available because what good is a healthy hot dog if you can’t find it? All of these are sold at major retailers.

Best Beef-Based Low-Fat Hot Dog: Ball Park Lean Beef Hot Dogs

Courtesy of Ball Park

Per 1 frank (50 g): 80 calories, 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 6 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 480 mg sodium

These healthy hot dogs are made with 100% beef and have zero artificial colors or flavors. Just enough salt and a dash of paprika extract ensure the spice is right; the results are similar to the franks you enjoyed at baseball games or cookouts as a kid. (Cracker Jacks and homemade s’mores are optional but recommended to complete the nostalgic experience.)

Best Classic Turkey Dog: Jennie-O Turkey Franks

Courtesy of Jennie-O Turkey

Per 1 frank (34 g): 70 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 4 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 380 mg sodium

Are turkey hot dogs healthy? They can be, but it’s important to examine the nutrition facts and ingredients list closely. This recipe is made from turkey raised without antibiotics or hormones. That doesn’t mean it’s lacking flavor, though. Its paprika and natural smoke flavor will remind you of grilling recipes you’ve enjoyed at more indulgent feasts.

Best Plant-Based Healthy Hot Dog: Lightlife Vegan Smart Dogs Veggie Protein Links

Courtesy of Target

Per 1 frank (43 g): 60 calories, 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 8 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 270 mg sodium

Plant-based eating is a growing food trend, and these low-sodium, low-fat hot dogs are a shining example of how delicious the vegetarian life can be. With each bite, you can rest assured that the dogs are completely vegan, meaning they’re also cholesterol- and saturated-fat-free. Soy protein isolate and pea protein amp up the protein to trump any other franks on this list.

Best Low-Calorie Beef Hot Dog: Hebrew National 97% Fat-Free Beef Franks

Courtesy of Hebrew National

Per 1 frank (45 g): 45 calories, 1 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 6 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 490 mg sodium

If you’ve shopped the meat case at a major supermarket, you might have asked yourself, “Are Hebrew National hot dogs healthy?” They’re practically ubiquitous, and we’ll admit that not all their products earn top nutrition marks. But these low-fat hot dogs are also very low-cal and are built around a base of kosher beef and soy protein, then seasoned with paprika, garlic, and more to meet our healthy criteria.

Fun Fact

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, mustard is by far the most popular topping for hot dogs nationwide. Hot dog etiquette calls for mustard and other wet toppings to be applied to the hot dog (never the bun) first, followed by chunkier condiments and finally by shredded cheese.

Best Uncured Healthy Hot Dog: Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs

Courtesy of Applegate Farms

Per 1 frank (47 g): 80 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 1 g carb, 470 mg sodium

Minimally processed and with a super-short ingredient list, these low-fat hot dogs will please both clean eaters and picky eaters. Featuring humanely raised turkey, sea salt, vinegar, cherry powder (for color), spices, and nothing else, these dogs are ones you can feel good about sharing with your family. (By the way, they’re gluten-free and Whole30-approved, if you need it.)

Best Low-Calorie Veggie Hot Dog: Yves Veggie Cuisine The Good Dog

Courtesy of Yves Veggie Cuisine

Per 1 frank (38 g): 45 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 7 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 260 mg sodium

Looking for low-sodium, low-fat hot dog brands? Vegetarian recipes are often your best bet. These tofu- and soy-based vegan dogs have the least salt of any on this list, and they pack more protein than a medium egg. Tomato extract gives them their vibrant hot dog hue, while mustard and other seasonings spice things up.

Healthy Hot Dog Condiment Picks

Andy Lyons

Now that you have several options for healthier hot dogs—including low-sodium, low-fat, and beyond—let’s talk toppings. It’s also important to consider how you dress your dog so you don’t undo all your efforts to find a healthy one. Store-bought condiments are often loaded with unnecessary extra sugar and sodium, so we recommend going the DIY route. Each of these homemade condiments clocks in at fewer than 50 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, and 70 mg sodium.