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Are Hot Dogs Okay if You Have Prediabetes? (Answered 2023)

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Can A Pre Diabetic Eat Hot DogsControlling your blood sugar doesn’t mean giving up hot dogs and hamburgers. You can still enjoy these summertime favorites in moderation by following a few simple guidelines. Opt for leaner meats, watch your portions, and pair them with healthier sides to keep your blood sugar steady.

A registered dietitian can work with you to create a personalized diabetic diet that allows room for your favorite foods.

Key Takeaways

  • Enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers in moderation by watching portion sizes and pairing them with healthier sides.
  • Opt for leaner meats, low-sodium varieties, and alternatives like grilled chicken, salmon, or veggie dogs.
  • A personalized diabetic diet can help regulate blood sugar. Prioritize lean proteins from varied sources and focus on unprocessed options.
  • Replace white bread with 100% whole grains for stable blood sugar. Choose smart carbohydrates like whole grains and fresh fruits.

Are Hot Dogs Okay for Pre Diabetics?

Are Hot Dogs Okay for Pre Diabetics
Though a summer cookout staple, friend, those salty, processed hot dogs can spike your blood sugar like a firework on the Fourth of July. Limiting intake of hot dogs is wise for prediabetes, as they’re high in unhealthy fats and sodium.

Look for low-sodium, nitrate-free options with less than 3g sat fat per serving. Try alternatives like grilled chicken or salmon, bean burgers, or veggie dogs.

Fill your plate with smart carb sides like salad, corn on the cob, or fruit salad. If you partake in an occasional dog, pair it with mustard over ketchup, and stick to just one.

Enjoy it along with healthier additions like a side salad. With thoughtful choices, you can still enjoy summer favorites without derailing blood sugar goals.

What Makes Hot Dogs Unhealthy?

What Makes Hot Dogs Unhealthy
Hot dogs may feel like an American summer staple, but they’re often loaded with unhealthy saturated fat and sodium. Opt for turkey or chicken sausages and be mindful of your portions to prevent hot dogs from throwing off your blood sugar and health goals.

Saturated Fat

You’d be better off skipping the high-fat, high-sodium packaged hot dogs and choosing healthier lean proteins. Those high levels of saturated fats increase insulin resistance, compromise heart health, and drive unwanted weight gain.

Instead, opt for skinless chicken breasts, fish, grass-fed beef, or veggie dogs to keep meals diabetes-friendly. Limit processed meats, read labels to identify sneaky saturated fats, and balance fats from fish, avocado, nuts, and oils.


You’re also getting a lot of sodium from those hot dogs, which isn’t good for controlling blood pressure. Processed meats like hot dogs tend to be very high in sodium. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and negatively impact your heart health.

Look for low sodium hot dogs or healthier alternatives like turkey dogs. Reducing your sodium intake by choosing fresh, whole foods over processed options is key.

Smarter Sausage Options

Smarter Sausage Options
Let’s talk about some smarter sausage options if you have diabetes. To enjoy an occasional hot dog or brat, look for lean options made with at least 90% fat-free beef, pork, or turkey to keep calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium in check; a lower fat beef hot dog still has 129 calories, 8.

5g fat, and 37mg cholesterol. Additionally, opt for chicken or turkey-based sausages over pork or beef. With some sensible choices, you can work an occasional summertime sausage into your meal plan.

Lean Meat

Pick lean cuts of meat like chicken or pork over fatty beef for better blood sugar control.

  • Choose skinless chicken or turkey breast.
  • Opt for lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or round.
  • Try substituting crumbled extra-lean ground turkey for beef in recipes.
  • Look for sausages with at least 90 percent lean meat.

Nutrition Information

The smartest sausage for you has 93 calories, 1g fat, and 35mg cholesterol per link. Enjoying the occasional sausage in moderation can be part of a balanced diabetes diet. Focus on leaner options like turkey, chicken, or low-fat beef sausages. Pair your sausage with nutrient-dense sides like a mixed green salad and roasted veggies.

Stay mindful of portions and read nutrition labels to make the healthiest choices.

Sausage Type Calories Total Fat Cholesterol
Fat-free beef, pork, turkey hot dog 93 1g 35mg
Low-fat beef and pork hot dog 129 8.5g 37mg
Chicken bratwurst 148 9g 60mg
Light pork, beef, turkey bratwurst 158 12g 48mg

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Other Processed Meats to Limit

Other Processed Meats to Limit
You’d do wisely avoiding bacon, salami, and other processed lunch meats high in fat and sodium. As an endocrinologist and registered dietitian specialized in diabetes, I recommend limiting consumption of deli meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs.

These processed meats are often loaded with saturated fat, preservatives, and sodium – all things that complicate blood sugar control and cardiovascular health.

Instead, make lean proteins like skinless chicken, fish, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts and seeds the stars of your plate. Fill half with non-starchy veggies and a quarter with smart carbs like quinoa, barley, or sweet potato.

Plant-based options help reduce heart disease risk while providing blood sugar stabilizing fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Best Proteins for Diabetics

Best Proteins for Diabetics
When choosing the healthiest proteins, opt for fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout, which provide heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You can also incorporate more plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh, which are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free.

Varying your protein sources and focusing on lean, unprocessed options can help manage diabetes. Try mixing up preparation methods by baking, grilling, or steaming to avoid overly fatty or sugary sauces.

Portion out reasonable serving sizes and pair proteins with non-starchy vegetables and whole grains for balanced, diabetes-friendly meals.


While tasty, sausages should be eaten sparingly, so savor salmon’s savory sauté instead.

  • Omega 3s lower inflammation
  • Coho salmon’s buttery texture
  • Flaky baked cod provides protein

Seafood gives a nutritional boost to diabetic diets. Opting for grilled or baked preparations over fried is best. Varying fish choices reaps unique benefits. Saying yes to fish benefits heart and brain health.


You’ll find excellent plant-based protein options such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds for stabilizing your blood sugar. Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans and soybeans offer a great protein to carbohydrate ratio.

Nuts like almonds and walnuts provide heart-healthy fats, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. Keep portion sizes small and aim for low glycemic index carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and whole grains. Prioritizing lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is recommended.

Worst Carbs for Blood Sugar

Worst Carbs for Blood Sugar
The processed white breads cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly without providing many fibers or nutrients. Try replacing them with 100% whole grain options instead. Sweets like candy, cookies, and soda can quickly spike your blood sugar levels.


Sugar’s off-limits, but an occasional dark chocolate square can satisfy your sweet tooth if you keep portions tiny. Some say a little chocolate leads to overindulgence; however, research confirms small doses offer antioxidants and improved blood sugar control.

Occasionally indulging your craving for something sweet with a small portion of lower-sugar desserts like fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, or a couple of chocolate-covered almonds can help control portions and blood sugar.

Skipping sweets altogether may backfire, so allow yourself a taste of healthier options in moderation.

White Bread

Try spreading whole-grain goodness instead of that white bread next time you make a sandwich. White bread can quickly spike your blood sugar due to its high glycemic index. Opt for 100% whole wheat or seeded bread varieties instead.

Their fiber content helps slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream. Rye bread, sprouted grain breads, and pumpernickel offer additional delicious, lower glycemic alternatives to keep your blood sugar steady.

Experiment with different whole grain bread options to find new favorites that still allow you to enjoy sandwiches and toast. Just be sure to pair them with protein and healthy fats to help further blunt the blood sugar response.

Choose Smart Carbs

Choose Smart Carbs
You can enjoy hot dogs and other high-fat meats in moderation if you have prediabetes or diabetes. Focus on incorporating smart carbs like whole grains and fresh fruits into your diet. Whole grains like whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice help manage blood sugar since they are absorbed more slowly.

Pairing carbs with protein, fat, and fiber also helps maintain steady glucose levels. Fresh fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – aim for berries, citrus fruits, melons, and apples as smart choices.

Whole Grains

Swap white carbs for whole grains to slow glucose release. Fill your plate with fiber-rich whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley. Their complex carbs break down more slowly, keeping blood sugar steady. Choose 100% whole wheat options when buying bread, cereal, pasta, and crackers.

Check the ingredients list for whole as the first ingredient. Whole grains provide vitamins, minerals, and gut-healthy fiber to aid glycemic control.

Fresh Fruit

You want to enjoy fresh fruit for fiber and vitamin C, but watch your portion sizes since too much fruit can spike blood sugar. Berries are a delicious choice, packed with antioxidants and fiber. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries provide vitamin C and promote health.

Choose whole fruit over juice to get fiber that helps control blood sugar. Pair fruit with protein like nuts or cheese.

Skip Sugary Drinks

Skip Sugary Drinks
Drain sugary drinks from your diet to keep blood sugar in check. Sodas, sweet teas, sports drinks, and juice cocktails all contain added sugars that can quickly spike blood glucose. Instead, quench your thirst with unsweetened sparkling water, herbal tea, or water with lemon or cucumber.

Staying hydrated is vital, but be mindful of calories and carbs from sugary drinks. They offer little nutrition yet pack on pounds, raising your risk for obesity-related illnesses.

Follow your healthcare provider’s advice for managing carbohydrates at meals and snacks. Focus on getting your daily fluid needs from water while limiting sugary beverages.

This simple swap helps control your blood sugar and Hba1c levels, protecting your heart.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Limit Alcohol Intake
Avoid overindulging in alcohol; it can increase blood sugar and contribute empty calories. Alcohol moderation is key when following a prediabetes diet. An occasional drink may be okay, but regularly drinking too much can negatively impact blood sugar control.

Make healthier alcohol choices like red wine or light beer in moderation. However, it’s best to limit overall intake. This can help prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes. Focus on an overall lifestyle supporting blood sugar regulation through nutrition, activity, sleep, and stress management.

Occasional moderate alcohol intake may be alright, but regularly overdoing it works against prediabetes management efforts. Prioritize blood sugar control through healthy habits. Limit alcohol for better blood sugar regulation on a prediabetes diet.

Focus on Portion Control

Focus on Portion Control
Enjoying one regular hot dog just once in a while isn’t a problem if you practice portion control and pay attention to overall nutrition. According to a study at Harvard Medical School, people who ate one to two servings of processed meat per week had a 42% higher risk of heart disease than people who avoided it.

When eating hot dogs, aim for a palm-sized portion and pair it with nutrient-rich sides like a salad or roasted vegetables. Focus on getting the recommended amount of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals each day from a variety of whole foods.

Drink water instead of sugary beverages and limit alcohol. If craving a hot dog, go for a lower sodium turkey dog on a whole wheat bun with lots of mustard and skip salty, high-fat toppings. You can still enjoy the tastes you love while keeping blood sugar in check through mindful, balanced eating.


You can enjoy the occasional hot dog or other processed meat with diabetes. But be wary of the fat and sodium content. Help your health by becoming an ingredient inspector and nutrition number cruncher.

Leaner meats, vegetable proteins, smart carbs, and a regular fitness regimen are your keys to blood sugar bliss. Portion control and meal planning help you delight in foods in moderation while dodging diabetic dilemmas.

Dream of defeating diabetes? Diligence in diet, activity, and care is your best defense. The diabetes diagnosis is daunting. But dedication and discipline will allow you to delight in living well with this disease.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.