Are bacon and hot dogs health foods?

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD

August 15, 2022


You’ve probably read many of my reports on all of the benefits of nitric oxide. It stimulates energy production, enhances athletic performance, decreases blood pressure, and so much more.

One way that the body can make nitric oxide is from nitrites. And one way we get nitrites is from nitrates.

Nitrates are found in vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables. But nitrates and nitrites are also found in bacon and hotdogs.

So does this mean that bacon and hot dogs are health foods?

Here’s the problem. As mentioned above, when you eat the nitrates in vegetables they are converted to nitrites in the process of chewing. These nitrites then get further converted into nitric oxide by your stomach acid.

But that’s not the same thing that happens with bacon and hot dogs. When nitrites are exposed to high heat in the presence of meat protein, they don’t convert to nitric oxide.

Instead they can turn into compounds called nitrosamines. And although there’s some controversy around it, nitrosamines have been blamed for causing esophageal and stomach cancer.

So, unfortunately, hot dogs and bacon cannot, at this time, be properly referred to as health foods. But fret not!

Instead of having that hot dog why not have a CircO2 lozenge? CircO2 is loaded with nitrite, nitrate, and all the right cofactors to boost your nitric oxide levels. I take one lozenge two times daily just for general purposes.

If you have any of the problems I mentioned above, or cardiovascular problems, sexual function issues, dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders, regular infections, gut problems, or insulin issues, make sure you’re eating an abundance of green leafy vegetables. Then, add in some CircO2 just for good measure.


Bartsch, H. And R. Montesano. “Commentary Relevance of nitrosamines to human cancer.” Cardnogenesis, vol.5, no. 11, pp.1381 -1393, 1984.

Scanlan, R.A. “Formation and occurrence of nitrosamines in food.” Cancer Res. 1983 May;43(5 Suppl):2435s-2440s.

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