Introducing The Bone-Healthy Hot Dog - Save Our Bones

July is National Hot Dog Month in the U.S., and, not surprisingly, Americans consume huge amounts of this backyard grill favorite. Believe it or not, Americans eat around 818 hot dogs per second between Memorial Day (May) and Labor Day (September). That totals around 7 billion (this is not a typo)!

Unfortunately, commercially sold hot dogs contain a number of toxic ingredients that can cause bone density loss.

But you can still be part of the cookout festivities without hurting your bones, because today I’m going to share with you a delicious homemade hot dog recipe so you can enjoy a healthier version of this picnic favorite.

Fun Facts About Hot Dogs

Despite their dubious content, hot dogs have an interesting history. One bit of trivia claims that when hot dogs were first sold at baseball games in New York, they were called “hot dachshund sausages.” When a cartoonist tried to depict the scene, he was unable to spell “dachshund,” so he simply called the sausages “hot dogs.” The name stuck!

  • The first hot dog stand opened in 1871 on Coney Island, and 1893 is said to be the first year that hot dogs were served with “buns” – at the time, it was simply bread. It wasn’t until 1904 that the official hot dog bun came about.
  • Different regions have their own choice of dressings and condiments for the humble hot dog, and the variations are amazing. For example, in California alone there are multiple regional specialties, from Los Angeles’ chili dogs to West Hollywood’s Oki Dog, served on a corn tortilla and covered with chili and pastrami.
  • In Chicago, favorite toppings include onions, tomatoes, and mustard. In Massachusetts, hot dogs are steamed (not grilled), and served with ketchup, mustard, relish, piccalilli, and chopped onions. In West Virginia, hot dogs are served steamed or grilled, and topped with chili, coleslaw, mustard, ketchup, and onions. And many New Yorkers like sauerkraut on their hot dogs.
  • While their origin is German, hot dogs have made their way around the world. Australians usually eat theirs with ketchup and mustard, but sometimes add fried onions or shredded cheese. In Thailand, hot dogs are eaten with a sweet chili-tomato condiment rather than ketchup, and are grilled or deep-fried and sold by street vendors.

No matter how or where you eat them, however, hot dogs are not good for your bones. Their ingredient list is a frightening concoction of chemicals, excessive sodium, and dubious “meat products.”

Of course, you can enjoy hot dogs as part of a bone-healthy diet with the tasty recipe I share with you below. But first, let’s take a look at what a hot dog is really made of.

Just What’s In A Hot Dog?

Generally speaking, hot dogs are made of finely-ground meat, flavorings, salt, preservatives, and corn syrup. But we need to break down the ingredients to reveal the toxins.

Hot dogs begin with “meat trimmings,” which are what’s left after roasts, steaks, breasts, chops, etc. are cut. Sometimes this includes “variety meats” or “meat by-products” which are organs such as kidneys, heart, and liver.

Hot dogs may also contain “mechanically separated” meat, which involves forcing bones with meat attached through a sieve, resulting in a meat paste.

  • Sodium nitrate (aka nitrates or nitrites) is a salt-based preservative found in nearly all processed meats. Nitrates rob your body of glutathione, a crucial antioxidant. In addition, nitrates have been linked to cancer.
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer that is sometimes added to hot dogs, and it’s an excitotoxin. This means it “excites” and stimulates sensitive neurons to the point that the neurons may die.
  • Corn syrup is added for sweetness and flavor, but it’s a concentrated sweetener that is very acidifying and often made from genetically-modified corn. The high-fructose variety acts as free radicals in the body, because the fructose and glucose molecules are unbounded.
  • Liquid smoke is added as a preservative and flavoring. It’s made by collecting smoke and sending it to a condenser where the smoke forms a liquid with the addition of water. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found carcinogenic compounds in some liquid smoke products, leading to the declaration of the usage of Primary Product AM 01 (a liquid smoke flavoring) as a “safety concern.”1
  • Sodium is found in hot dogs in huge quantities. Two beef hot dogs contain more than 1000mg of sodium! That much sodium is detrimental to your bones, not only because it inhibits calcium absorption, but also because excessive sodium taxes your kidneys and liver.

In fact, all of these toxins overload your detoxification organs.

That’s definitely enough to ruin your cookout. But thankfully, there’s a healthy option that fits into the biochemically balanced Osteoporosis Reversal Program. This hot dog recipe is acidifying, but you can certainly enjoy these hot dogs at a cookout with lots of bone-healthy, pH-balanced side dishes like those found in Bone Appétit to balance the pH.

Now for the recipe!

Bone-Healthy Hot Dogs

Makes 18 hot dogs


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken (optional – use 2 pounds ground beef if you don’t use turkey or chicken)
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place oats in a blender or food processor; blend or process until fine (like flour). Place ground oats in a bowl or cup and set aside.
  2. Place ground meat in a food processor and process until very smooth and fine. Mix in the ground oats and other ingredients; pulse until mixed.
  3. Place meat mixture in a large bowl and stir to make sure everything is blended, then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. If you have a sausage maker, feel free to use it, twisting the casing every 6 inches or so. If using your hands, take a 2-ounce ball of meat mixture in your hands and roll and shape it into a link shape about 5 inches in length (you don’t want it too thin or it will break when you cook it). Place hot dogs on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
  5. To cook, place hot dogs in a cold skillet. Add distilled water halfway up the links and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs. Remove to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet or platter.
  6. After boiling the hot dogs, you can then grill or sauté them, and serve them right away, refrigerate them for a few days, or freeze them for up to 6 months.

Enjoy These Hot Dogs With Bone-Healthy Side Dishes

These bone-healthy hot dogs are excellent served with side dishes like Sunrise Salad, Pow Wow Salad, Crunchy Coleslaw, or Country Style Waldorf Salad, all of which (and many more) can be found in Bone Appétit, the companion cookbook to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Bone Appétit has plenty of luscious dessert recipes, too, some of which are classics that are the perfect ending to a hot dog cookout: Spiced Apple Cake, Pretty In Pink Crumble, Cherry Charm Pie, Non-Dairy Chocolate Delish, and many more. 

Now you know that you can enjoy hot dogs without harming your bones along with delicious bone-building pH-balanced side dishes and even desserts.

So if you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes to learn more about Bone Appétit.

Till next time,


1 “Scientific opinion on the safety of smoke flavouring Primary Product AM 01 – 2012 Update.” ESFA Journal. 2012; 10(2):2850[18pp]. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Daphne Crowder

    At our house “hot dogs” are actually German franks made locally from either pastured pork or grain fed (and finished) beef. The ground meat is seasoned with various spices at the meat processor and is sold by the farms as “sausage”. I love it, and so do my kids. It’s just hard to explain to Grandmac that I don’t let them eat processes food when the kids tell her about eating hot dogs!

  2. Noeme Rock

    Has anyone made the hot dog (with out the casing) recepie yet? If so did it keep its shape?

    Also any suggestion on what is the best and where to get “bone friendly casing” for these healthylicous hotdogs?

  3. joy markman

    I would just like to change the subject, can you use “Balsamic Vinegar”, because it has sulphates in it. It is very popular with olive oil as a dressing. I know apple cider vinegar is fine.
    Thanks so much,

  4. Customer Support

    Just a friendly reminder to those who have questions on topics other than those covered in the blog post – feel free to use our handy and effective Search feature to find Vivian’s articles on a given topic. Simply type in your subject of interest – for example, “yogurt” or “calcium” – and you’ll immediately see a list of all the posts Vivian has written on that topic. 🙂

    • Norma

      I typed in natural Projesterone which was recommended by John Lee, MD for post menopause to help build new bone. Vivian, what do you think about natural Projesterone?

    • Betty

      Where do we find the search feature? Also the print article feature?
      Thank you. Betty

      • Customer Support

        You’ll find the search feature at the top of any of our articles, Betty – it’s a hollow box with “Search our articles…” in it. Simply click in this box and type your subject of interest. 🙂 The Print feature is located at the bottom of any article, under Vivian’s signature. I hope this helps!

      • Sharon

        ‘Search’ box and ‘magnifying glass’ icon are at the top of the article. ‘Print’ box is under the FB/Tweet/Pinest(sp?)/Comments quantities at the bottom of the article. Hope you are having a great Monday morning.

  5. Marlene Villar

    Good morning Vivian,
    Thank you very much for this recipe. I appreciate and
    very thankful for sharing different topics for us to be
    equip, learn, apply and make healthy choices suited
    to our daily needs.
    Have a wonderful day and take care always.

  6. Leslie ( Ms. L. Carmel)

    Good Afternoon Vivian And Commenters,

    The Bone Healthy Hot Dog Recipe Looked So Good, It Was Making Me Hungry. Thank You Very Much For Sharing It With Us.

    Until Next Time – Take Good Care Of Yourselves, And Stay Well.


  7. len

    This is the third time I’ve asked this question. Please respond!!
    I have read that calcium supplements can cause cancer.
    Any comments?

    • Coral Vorster

      Depends what calcium? There are a lot of synthetic calcium’s on the market. You need to be specific.

    • Helen S

      I’m no expert, so don’t know. However, my sensitive system can’t digest calcium carbonate (chalk), calcium citrate, or other forms of rock that also contain fillers (and are about 30-40% absorbed). Instead, I use powdered hydrilla, a fresh-water algae that’s all plant and therefore 100% absorbed. It has 700 mg. of pure calcium per tablespoon, in addition to a wide array of bone-building minerals. Morning and evening, I take a rounded teaspoon in water, along with powdered acerola berry for Vitamin C, then a teaspoon of organic coconut oil. That, along with Vivian’s wonderful program, is reversing my osteoporosis. Hope this helps.

      • Coral Vorster

        You are absolutely right. You need a food state calcium. Not from rocks.

  8. Mark

    As a vegan, I would like to see a MEATLESS alternative to this recipe. While I am sure that this recipe is healthier than commercial hot dogs, it is still taking the life of animal, promotes cruelty (do a Google search on factory farm), and helps contribute to the objectification of farm animals as commodities instead of sentient beings. Just saying…

    • janet uk

      You could make this with either Quorn mince or soya! I tend to add a little soy sauce to things to make it tastier!

      • Coral Vorster

        Stay away from all soy & soya as it is GMO.

  9. JeanW

    Thanks, Vivian. I’m Australian, and we eat ours with ketchup or mustard, not both together!

    • cindy

      Hi Jean,

      I’m also Australian, from Sydney, and on the rare occasion I do eat a Hot Dog it is always with both tomato sauce and mustard. Maybe you should try it, they taste great both together. I also occasionally add shredded cheese. I make these at home so I don’t go to the effort of making the onions but i know Aussies also like to add onions just like on our sausage sandwiches. Another Aussie perspective.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Interesting, Jean! Some Americans do the same. 🙂

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