Best Hot Dogs and Sausages for Weight Loss

Going to a cookout and passing on the hot dogs is like going to a baseball game and, well, passing on the hot dogs. The classic frank is such an integral part of American summer traditions that it’s a shame to say no—even if you’re trying to lose weight.

Best Hot Dogs and Sausages for Weight Loss

Going to a cookout and passing on the hot dogs is like going to a baseball game and, well, passing on the hot dogs. The classic frank is such an integral part of American summer traditions that it’s a shame to say no—even if you’re trying to lose weight.

Hot-off-the-grill sausages and frankfurters are two of summer’s great pleasures. But thanks to their high calorie, salt and fat content, the tasty meats have gotten a bad rap. The good news is that there are a number of options on supermarket shelves that won’t harm your health or your hard-earned beach body. Since reading and comparing every package’s nutrition label to find the best can take forever, we did all the legwork.

All you have to do is pick up one of our Eat This, Not That!-approved picks, head home and fire up the grill. All of the meats below are free of scary additives and have no more than 160 calories, 11 grams of fat and 600 milligrams of sodium per serving—with the majority of them falling far below these nutritional upper limits. Stick with these healthy brands and you’ll never be far from a quick, healthy protein-packed meal.

BEST BEEF HOT DOG

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Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog, 1 frank

Calories 70
Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 330 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 6 g

A fair share of conventional dogs are cured, meaning they’ve been doused with nitrates and nitrites, chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer and diabetes. Applegate is one of the few companies that don’t add these dangerous additives to their dogs. Their Uncured Beef variety is also low in calories, fat and salt, earning it a top spot on our list.

BEST LOW-FAT SAUSAGE

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Thin n’ Trim Chicken Sausage, Chipotle & Peach Salsa, 1 link

Calories 70
Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Sodium 250 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 12 g

 

Thin n’ Trim combines a little bit of heat with a dash of sweet flavor to make their delicious Southwestern-flavored sausage. It’s free of MSG and nitrites, so you can dig in guilt free. To take your BBQ game to the next level, throw your sausage in a whole-grain bun and top it with sautéed onions and peppers, spicy giardiniera (mixed pickled vegetables) and a low-sodium salsa.

BEST TWO-MEAT FRANK

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Applegate Natural Uncured Beef and Pork Hot Dog, 1 frank

Calories 90
Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Sodium 330 mg
Carbs 1 g
Protein 6 g

This frank is made with a blend of beef, pork, water and spices—that’s about as clean as you can get. Applegate also shuns nitrates, fillers and additives you don’t need — or want — in your dogs. Combine that with their sound nutritional profile, and it’s clear why this company earned the title of best duel-meat frankfurter on supermarket shelves.

BEST BRATWURST

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The Original Brat Hans Organic Bratwurst Chicken Sausage, 1 link

Calories 120
Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Sodium 590 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 17 g

We’re fans of this plump pork brat because it has fewer calories and less fat and sodium than any other variety at the store. It’s also free of antibiotics, hormones, nitrates and nitrites. The Original Brat’s tasty, but relatively neutral flavor makes it a perfect canvas for a wide range of toppings from traditional German sauerkraut and hot mustard to pickled chilies and chutney. Pair it with a healthy beer for the full bierhaus experience.

BEST SPICY SAUSAGE

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Al Fresco Chipotle Chorizo Chicken Sausage, 1 link

Calories 140
Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 420 mg
Carbs 4 g
Protein 15 g

Our love for Al Fresco runs deep. No other company offers a wider variety of bold-flavored, low-calorie and low-sodium sausages—and this variety is one we can’t get enough of. Makers of this variety use dried mango, adobo sauce and tomato puree to give it a unique, rich flavor. Throw a link into a bun or mix it up by throwing slices of them on a homemade grilled veggie pizza.

BEST PORK SAUSAGE

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Aidells Cajun Style Andouille, 1 link

Calories 160
Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Sodium 600 mg
Carbs 1 g
Protein 15 g

Since it’s free of scary additives, this Cajun-style smoked sausage is far better than its competition. Even so, we can’t ignore its higher sodium count. If you decide to indulge, stick to one sausage and keep any BBQ classics laced with salt—like chips, cheese and ketchup—off your plate.

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