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Nutrition of Nathan's Hot Dogs

By Jennifer Williams

Nathan’s in Coney Island is known for its hot dog eating competition that begin in 1916 the year Nathan’s opened. In 2009, Joey Chestnut set the record by eating 68 Nathan’s hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. You will probably want more time to savor one of the all-beef Nathan’s hot dogs.


To maintain weight, the USDA recommends 2,600 to 3,000 calories per day for a 20 to 30 year old male to maintain his weight and 2,000 to 2,400 calories for a 20 to 30 year old female. Nathan’s Famous hot dog in a bun has 297 calories. Adding chili or cheese increases the calorie count by 90 to 100 calories. Topping options that add minimal calories include salsa, sauerkraut or red onions. Nathan’s corn dogs and hot dogs wrapped in a pretzel each has 390 calories.


Half of the calories in Nathan‘s hot dogs come from fat. Harvard School of Public Health explains that when it comes to health it is not the amount of fat but the type of fat consumed. Saturated fat, especially transfat, has been associated with increased heart disease, cancer and stroke. Because of the saturated fat and transfat in Nathan’s hot dogs, you should limit the number eaten.

The lowest fat content is the pretzel dog with 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat and no transfat. Nathan’s cheese dog has 8 g saturated fat and 3 grams of transfat. Nathan’s chili dog has 50 milligrams of cholesterol while a Nathan’s hot dog has 34 milligrams of cholesterol.


Nathan’s hot dog provides 10 grams of protein. Adding cheese increases the protein by 4 grams and chili adds 6 grams of protein. Nathan’s pretzel dog has 12 grams of protein and the corn dog on a stick has 7 grams of protein. Along with Nathan’s hot dogs, you should include other sources of protein in your daily diet to achieve the RDA protein recommendation of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.


The most common nutrient deficiency in the U.S. is iron deficiency. Nathan’s pretzel dog supplies 20 percent of the RDA of iron and Nathan’s corn dog has 10 percent of iron RDA. However, Nathan’s Famous hot dog supplies less than 2 percent of iron's RDA.

People who are limiting their sodium should avoid Nathan’s cheese dog and its 1,440 milligrams of sodium; chili dog with 1,000 milligrams of sodium; and pretzel dog, with 970 milligrams of sodium


While Nathan's hot dogs supply protein and iron, the high saturated fat content and sodium levels make Nathan's hot dogs a food that should be eaten sparingly. For your health's sake, leave the quantity eating to the professionals and have a Nathan's hot dog as an occasional treat.

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