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Hot Dog While Pregnant – Is It Safe To Eat? | The Right Parenting

When a woman is pregnant she is always conscious about the health of the baby inside her womb. She wants to know what things are safe for the baby and what to avoid during pregnancy. Eating a hot dog while pregnant is not harmful but it is always better to avoid processed food during pregnancy. While choosing the food a woman must take care of two things,

  • What food is safe for the baby?
  • Which food contains more nutrients?

It is safe to eat a hot dog while pregnant only when cooked properly over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Any processed meat like a hot dog has a chance of contamination with bacteria during the packaging stage. Only one specific bacterium known as Listeria has an ability to pass from mother to fetus through the placenta and cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

Eating hot dog while pregnant is safe during the pregnancy but if consumed daily may not be the good choice of food nutritionally. One hot dog contains about 200 calories, 7 grams of proteins, 12 grams of fat, and 500mg sodium. These nutrients are not harmful to the fetus but need to be balanced by adding fruits, vegetables, and dairy products into the diet.

What is a hot dog?

A hot dog is a grilled or steamed American barbeque containing a cooked sausage between a partly sliced bun.


The ingredients of a hot dog are.

  • A hot dog bun
  • Processed meat can be beef, chicken or pork
  • Spices including salt, pepper, and garlic
  • Tomato and mustard sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sodium nitrates as preservatives

What are the possible harms of eating a hot dog while pregnant?

Bacterial contamination

Hot dogs or any processed meat has a high risk of contamination with bacteria while the packaging stage. Bacteria Listeria monoctogenes has the ability to cross the placenta. It causes gastrointestinal disorders and flu-like symptoms and increases the risk of premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth. To avoid any harm it is always necessary to cook the hot dog properly to kill the bacteria.

Nitrate components

The hot dog also contains nitrates that are used to kill bacteria as well as to add flavor and color to the hot dogs. There is no medical evidence that these nitrates are harmful to developing babies. However, it is better to avoid food containing artificial flavors and preservatives while pregnant.

Sensitivity to Ingredients

Some pregnant women might show sensitivity to any ingredient like spices or artificial flavors in the hot dog, leading to an allergic reaction resulting in constipation, bloating, and other gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, it is better to avoid eating hot dog until after delivery.

How to create a perfect hot dog while pregnant?

Here are the few things to remember while making a hot dog:

Proper cooking of a hot dog while pregnant

It is very important to eat healthy during pregnancy. Processed meat holds a high chance of contamination with bacteria. Raw or poorly cooked hot dogs can cause serious gastrointestinal issues which can lead to the premature birth of baby, miscarriage, and stillbirth. To avoid any serious complication it is necessary to cook hot dogs properly at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reliable brand

If you are buying a hot dog from the store, always choose a reliable brand containing fewer preservatives and artificial flavors to keep the mother and the baby on the safe side.

Homemade patties

Avoid eating a hot dog while pregnant from the streets, they are unhygienic. Instead of buying it from the store, use homemade patties. They are clean, hygienic, and have the least chance of contamination with bacteria.

Alternatives of a hot dog while pregnant

To avoid any risk associated with eating a hot dog while pregnant, consider switching to any other healthy alternative. Meat-free hot dogs made up of vegetables and soy is the best alternative. As they are vegetarian-friendly, low in fat, and hold the least chances of bacterial contamination.

Useful tips for eating a hot dog while pregnant

The following things must be kept in mind when eating a hot dog while pregnant.

  • A regular hot dog bun contains almost 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 28-gram carbohydrates, 3-4 grams of proteins, and almost 250mg nitrates. Hence containing fewer nutrients and more calories, resulting in unhealthy weight gain.
  • A hot dog bun contains more carbohydrates which increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Do not eat raw or poorly cooked hot dog
  • Avoid eating hot dogs from the street as they are unhygienic.
  • Wash your hands before preparing and eating a hot dog
  • Clean the surface with warm water before preparing a hot dog
  • Freeze the food to prevent food contamination

Some other items to snack on except hot dog while pregnant


Add fruits and milk into the yogurt to make a smoothie. It will add extra vitamins and fiber making it a healthy diet for both the mother and the baby.

Flavored yogurt

It is best to take the low-fat dairy product every day so that your baby gets enough calcium for the proper development of bones. Flavored yogurt contains protein and sugar and is a healthy diet for both the mother and the baby.


To satisfy your crunch cravings choose whole-grain tortilla which is high in fiber. Dip it in guacamole, which is high in folate that helps prevents the birth defects in the baby.


Hummus is a protein-rich diet. Adding it to your regular diet fulfills the protein requirement of the body. Add carrots and pepper for extra fiber and vitamins.


Popcorns are a high fiber diet that can help to relieve constipation some pregnant women get from prenatal vitamins.

Baked items

Taking proteins, fiber, and healthy fat will keep a woman full in between the meals. It will also fulfill your pregnancy cravings providing essential nutrients to the baby keeping it healthy.

Also Read: Healthy Snacks During Pregnancy

Here are the tips to satisfy all your food cravings and not gain weight

It can be very challenging for a pregnant woman to follow the guidelines of pregnancy weight gain. Sticking to the recommended weight gain during pregnancy can reduce the risk of complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. However excessive weight gain during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications like c-section delivery and premature birth of the baby.

Here are a few tips for healthy pregnancy weight gain.


Walk for at least 30 minutes daily. You will have fewer pains and aches as you get to the end of pregnancy if you stay active.

Light exercise

Do light exercise daily to maintain your healthy weight gain and to keep you active.

Eat in portions

Instead of eating food with high fat and sugar content, focus on small frequent meals including fruits and vegetables.

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

Find me on: Web | Facebook

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