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The Truth About Breakfast Sandwiches

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Come on sunshine, what can you show me?!

You know you want to turn that steering wheel into the line up at the drive through. A quickie breakfast sandwich ought to wake you up, right? A new study says that this is the route to artery disaster, its all over the news. But let take a closer look...

How did they conduct this study?

They took healthy non-smoking university students and tested their VTI (VTI is the velocity time interval -- the speed that blood moves through an artery which is an indicator of how healthy the artery is) before and after a 900 calorie breakfast sandwich containing 50 grams of fat.

Nobody eats this much without knowing they are doing damage. It just isn't a reasonable way to eat whether you are at home or in your car.

What did the study show?Within a couple of hours the VTI was reduced by 15 per cent which is likely a temporary problem. It is true that if you do this over and over for a lifetime, vessels will eventually become less able to move blood effectively. So don't eat that much and don't do it often.

So, why were breakfast sandwiches highlighted?

There is nothing in those breakfast sandwiches that is any worse than anything you would make at home! It is strictly a sexy way to tell a story but the truth is that there are better and worse choices no matter where you are eating. Though 900 calories and 50 grams of fat is an exorbitant amount of food.

Interestingly, they only compared this crazy breakfast to "no breakfast" not a "better breakfast." Let's hope this is the next study. It would be interesting to see what happened when the reasonable egg sandwich without the cheese and sausage would have done.

So what do we do? Never eat breakfast sandwiches?

Even the Heart and Stroke Foundation agrees that it is an unreasonable solution to never eat away from home. We know that some kind of breakfast is crucial and if you can't find the time or brain space to make it at home, most places offer healthier options. Low sugar oatmeal? Yogurt and fruit? Small egg sandwich, no cheese, no sausage?

No matter where you eat, or for which meal, you want a lean, breakfast full of nutrients, protein and fibre, and not the calorie/fat bomb that two big fatty sandwiches may offer.

So the take home message is "be reasonable, choose the lighter option." Oh dear, sexy story over.

My Comments on CTV News...

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