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Can Diabetics Eat Hot Dogs and Hamburgers?

Hot dogs and hamburgers are staples at almost any grill out but are these the best options for diabetics? The answer is they can be, but it depends on the type of hot dog and hamburger you choose.

Can people with diabetes eat hot dogs and hamburgers?

Yes, you can enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers on your diabetic diet. Just follow a few tips and tricks, and start enjoying these barbecue favorites guilt-free.

Are Hot Dogs Bad for Diabetics?

Standard hot dogs aren’t always great options for those living with diabetes. Often these grilled favorites are full of processed meats and are high in saturated fats, nitrates, and sodium which have been linked to insulin resistance. There are better options, but like everything else, this type of food should only be consumed in moderation and on special occasions. Always listen to your body and how it reacts to whatever you’re eating.

What Kind Of Hot Dogs Can You Eat With Diabetes?

Consider the ingredients when deciding if a hot dog is right for you. Look for and compare options that are organic, vegetarian, kosher, uncured, or grass-fed, as these often include less sodium than other options. Chef Robert Lewis, the author of The Happy Diabetic, recommends aiming for 200 calories, 5g of saturated fat, and 400mg of sodium or less.

Best Hot Dogs for Diabetics: Options

We explored some healthier hot dog options you might want to consider, but there are many more. Just remember to take a close look at the nutrition labels.

Kroger’s Simple Truth Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs contain 90 calories, 3g of saturated fat, and 370mg of sodium.

Morning Star Farms Veggie Dogs contain 60 calories, 0g of saturated fat, and 370mg of sodium.

Dietz & Watson Uncured Beef Franks contain 110 calories, 3g of saturated fat, and 320mg of sodium.

Brats are also an option, although almost all have higher levels of sodium and saturated fats. Choose a hot dog over a higher-fat sausage option as much as possible.

Best Hamburgers for Diabetics

Making your own hamburgers to bring to a cookout is always the best option for T1Ds. Controlling what’s in your burger is the only way to ensure you know what you’re eating. The good news is that burgers are easy to make. Remember to stick with lean beef (95 percent lean beef is best) and look for a salt-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash. The ADA Diabetes Food Hub also has plenty of beef-alternative options to choose from based on your personal taste. Here are a few delicious options to try.

Sensational Chicken Burgers include ground chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, garlic, and seasonings.

Basic Bean Burgers include canned beans; onion; whole grain rice, oatmeal, or quinoa; eggs, and seasonings.

Baja Turkey Burgers include lean ground turkey, avocado coleslaw mix, and seasonings.

Be Mindful of Your Toppings

Rarely do you eat a hotdog or hamburger all by itself, right? The problem is those sneaky toppings can add extra calories, salt, and sugar. Try to avoid regular ketchup and mustard. Look for healthier versions that include less sugar and sodium. Get creative with other healthier items also. Bell peppers, greens (lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, or spinach), jalapenos, onions, sauerkraut, pickles, tomatoes, pineapple, or avocado are all great additions to your hot dog or hamburger. These add the flavor and interest you want without overloading your meal with the bad stuff you don’t.

How Transcend Can Help

We’re big believers in living life to the fullest but always remaining mindful of what your body can endure. Keep your Transcend Glucose Gels on hand to help manage your diabetic lows as you enjoy your parties and events throughout the year.

With or without diabetes, we all must practice moderation and not go overboard on bad-for-us foods. Should you eat hamburgers and hotdogs daily? Of course not, but enjoying a party now and then and looking for better-for-you options is always a good rule of thumb.

If you’re looking for more resources, we’re here to help. Check out some of our other articles about diabetes tips and advice.


Disclaimer: THIS IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A MEDICAL ADVICE. For those with existing medical conditions, those who are taking medications, or are uncertain about any information we share, proper consultation with your trusted physician is strongly recommended.