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Carbs In Hot Dogs: Are They Allowed on Ketogenic Diet?

In 2024 a mere 7.5 Billion US dollars went into supermarkets only for hot dogs. To say hot dogs are popular is an understatement. (*)You may be asking yourself: Are hot dogs keto friendly? 

Short Answer:

As it turns out, you’re in luck! 

Meat is an approved meal choice for the keto and since hot dogs are mostly meat, you’re in for a treat! 

So let’s begin!

How Are Hot Dogs Made Exactly?

Generally, hot dogs are made of ground meat. This ground meat is usually a mosaic of leftover meat from various sources.

Meat sources for hot dogs are much the same as what is in:

  • Ground meat
  • Meat stakes 
  • Roasts 

These pieces of meat are ones that have been left unused in other products due to a lowering of quality like softness, size, or shape. 


These leftovers work great for hot dogs. Further processing of these pieces gives it a smoother texture and an even color throughout. 

What Do They Contain? 

With anything you wish to include on the keto, we always encourage you to check its nutritional content. 

Hot dogs nutrition values and facts for 48 grams: (*

  • Total Carbohydrates 1.3 grams
  • Dietary Fiber 0 grams
  • Sugars 0.6 grams
  • Protein 5.6 grams
  • Total Fat 14 grams
  • Saturated Fat 5.6 grams
  • Cholesterol 28 milligrams
  • Calories 155

These nutrition values reflect the average hot dog. Different brands could have altered nutritional values. 

Alternatively, we encourage you to check the label to verify its ingredients. Low carb count and high fat content hot dogs can very easily be included in the keto.

On top of that!

Hot dogs are affordable and a good source of protein, but you will still need to watch out for their high saturated fat components. 

Can You Eat Hot Dogs on Ketogenic Diet?

Since hot dogs are basically meat, why would its keto rating still be under question? Regrettably, not all meat products are the same. 

That being said!

Hot dogs and raw meat might contain the same basic ingredient of meat but one is rather much more processed than the other. 

This processing is what affects its keto approval. 

What to Avoid with Hot Dogs for Keto?

We vehemently advocate for keto dieters to read the label of food, every time. Even what may seem ok for the keto can potentially have non keto ingredients. 

Good quality hot dogs that won’t contain elements such as:

  • Sugar packed hot dogs
  • Beef mince meat that did not have a grass-fed source
  • MSG or fillers that contain extra gluten, which is often used as a binder(*)
  • Other hidden carbs

There are toppings to avoid with hot dogs which contain plenty of sugars.

  • Ketchup from the store
  • Relish
  • Sweet sauces

Instead, we suggest you opt for:

  • Mayo
  • Yellow mustard
  • Sauerkraut 

It would be even more useful to simply mince a few pickles yourself and make a quick keto relish. 

What Risks Can Hot Dogs Pose to Keto?

Mass production of foods inevitably means some unhealthy ingredients will make it through. 

The rule usually is: the more processed it is the more additives it contains and the less keto it becomes. 

With hot dogs, a few specific ingredients could affect the keto diet. 

1. Hidden Carbs 

Hot dogs get their meat from leftover ground meat and are subsequently processed. This processing can include multiple binding agents that uptick its carb count.

Binding agents:

  • Leftover breadcrumbs
  • Soy flour 
  • Corn syrup 
  • Wheat flour

Only one tablespoon of corn syrup will have a whopping 20 grams of carbs. (*)

2. Spices and Sugars

Hot dog processing also contains a whole list of spices that make up the recognizable flavors. Many brands use carb loaded spices that make hit dogs less keto.

Spices with high carb content:

  • Cardamom
  • White pepper 
  • Pink peppercorn
  • Dairy products  

The best option is to make sure that no sugars are listed, artificial sugars included. The more natural hot dogs are, the better they will work for the keto. 

3. Nitrates 

To conserve hot dogs, preservatives are often used. Nitrates are the most popular preservative, and hot dogs do contain certain amounts of them. (*)

What does this mean for you?

Nitrates become nitrites when ingested and absorbed into the body, which was found to contribute to cancer development. (*)

Sodium nitrite specifically, provides the typical red color of hot dogs, while also turning other compounds into nitrosamines or nitrosamides, both carcinogenic. (*)

What Are The Benefits of Eating Hot Dogs on the Keto?

Apart from their keto status, there is also the question of what benefits hot dogs can bring while on the keto in they are to be included. 

  • Their affordable price and relatively low carb intake make hot dogs ideal for a quick meal that won’t have too many downsides on ketosis
  • Hot dogs are a good source of dietary fat and protein
  • Usually, low on carbs, hot dogs can be easy to include in a keto diet
  • Hot dogs are not just used with the typical split bun but can be made into other dishes that don’t require the starchy bun
  • Veggie options for hot dogs work to provide the taste of hot dog without the added meats and unnecessary sweeteners
  • Multiple keto approved hot dogs have very many surprising nutrients that benefit the keto diet itself

All this makes hot dogs very popular not just in general but with keto followers. 

What Brands of Hot Dogs Are Keto?

Hot dogs are generally okay for keto with the exception of some ingredients. As far as brands go, there isn’t an exact list of brands that guarantee keto safety. 

Hot dogs have low levels of carbs so it’s just a matter of making sure no added sugar or gluten is part of their composition.

Not only that:

A smaller list of ingredients also guarantees a more keto approved product, as it shows it’s less processed. 

Top Keto Friendly Hot Dog Brands: Nutrion Facts:
ORGANIC VALLEY: Beef Hot Dogsper 47 g:
– 0g of net carbs
– 11g of fats
– 7g of protein
– 130 of calories
APPLEGATE: Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogper 47 g:
– 0g of net carbs
– 9g of fats
– 7g of protein
– 110 calories

In a Nutshell

Following the keto diet and wondering can you have hot dogs on keto is only natural. You don’t want to be unprepared and botch your ketosis

With a few caveats, hot dogs are keto friendly.

The secret? 

We suggest you limit the meal to hot dogs without the bun and without ketchup or relish, and of course, carefully read the label. 

image of carbs in hot dogs

Up Next: Can You Eat Ham on Keto? Everything You NEED TO KNOW!

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