STUDY: Quit Eating Hotdogs if You Want to Live Longer

A new study has found that eating hotdogs shave 36 minutes off your life.

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but a study from the University of Michigan has found that eating hotdogs shave 36 minutes off your life. A serving of nuts, on the other hand, merits 26 extra minutes. If this processed food is a staple in your diet, you might want to consider cutting back on or possibly eliminating it.

close up photo of hotdog sandwiches
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Sustainable Diet

Researchers looked at 5,800 foods in the US diet and quantified their effects in minutes of healthy life gained or lost. “Foods with positive scores add healthy minutes of life, while foods with negative scores are associated with health outcomes that can be detrimental for human health,” Olivier Jolliet, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences explained.

The study published in the Nature Food journal found that beef, processed meats, pork, cheese, and sugar-based have a significant impact on a person’s health. Substituting even just 10% of these products with whole foods is not only better for the body, but it also reduces a person’s carbon footprint by one-third and adds 48 minutes of healthy life per day.

Food Data

One of the thousands of foods analyzed in the study was a standard beef hotdog. Consuming 61 grams of processed meat resulted in losing 27 minutes of life, and that’s without factoring in ingredients like sodium and trans fatty acids. Include that in the equation, and the estimated total loss goes up to 36 minutes.

“Scores for frankfurter and breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and red eat are almost exclusively negative, indicating that eating an additional serving of this food is health-damaging,” the authors note. To get to their conclusions, the researchers adapted the Global Burden of Disease index, which assesses morbidity linked to one’s food choices.

The same study recommends eating more whole grains, nuts, legumes, and some seafood. Grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of a hot dog to add 33 minutes to your life.

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