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"Are hot dogs a healthy choice if I top them with chopped lettuce, tomato, onions etc.?"

“Are hot dogs a healthy choice if I top them with chopped lettuce, tomato, onions, etc.?”

This was a question posed in the “Ask Tufts Experts” section of the December issue of the Tufts University Health & nutrition Letter.*

I snorted, shook my head, and thought: “Nice try, dude!”

Then I took off my snarky, judge-y hat, replaced it with my “Compassionate Coach” hat, and thought: “Dude IS trying.”

Deep down, the questioner probably knows that hot dogs are not the best meal choice. And they know they should be eating more vegetables. So they are trying to make that small step toward making a better choice.

In my nutrition coaching program, we don’t label foods as “good” or “bad”. We make choices, on a continuum, working toward consistently making better choices.

So, good on you, dude! Keep on the track of making consistently better choices, and one day soon you will be sitting there with a whole wheat wrap full of veggies, and your hot dogs will be getting freezer burn from neglect.

*If you would like to read the response to the question, you can find it here:


(You may be asked to subscribe to read the full response, but the Tufts Newsletter is a great, low-cost resource. I have often gifted a subscription to family and clients.)