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Theresa Albert


The Truth About Breakfast Sandwiches

Posted: 11/01/2012 12:55 pm

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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  • Eggs In A Cup

    Two-minute scrambled eggs in a cup: Spray a mug with non-stick spray. Pour in 2 beaten eggs mixed with 30 ml (2 tbsp) milk. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving small gap for steam. Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 1 minute and 45 seconds, stirring several times during cooking. Cover and let stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve with whole-grain toast and a pear or any fruit on hand.

  • Smoothie

    Fruity smoothie in a vacuum flask; bagel with almond butter and apple slices.

  • Lunch For Breakfast

    Tuna salad made with sliced red grapes and chopped lettuce stuffed into 1/2 a whole-wheat pita plus yogurt.

  • Prepare Ahead

    Hard-boiled egg (they keep for a week in the refrigerator with the shell on), yogurt drink, fruit cup and bread sticks.

  • Make-Your-Own Yogurt Parfaits:

    Use any fancy dessert cups. Toppings can include pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, cherries or chopped apricots, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, any chopped fresh, unsweetened frozen or canned fruit, dry whole-grain or high-fibre cereal, granola, coconut. Organize toppings the night before.

  • Go English

    Canned baked beans served over toast with orange wedges.

  • Leftovers

    Reheat and add a glass of milk and piece of fruit.

  • F Is For Freeze

    Defrost in the microwave or pop into the toaster. Heat frozen berries in the microwave with a little maple syrup for a fruity topping.

  • Soup

    Add any leftover cooked meat, tofu or chicken, brown rice or a handful of frozen vegetables. Serve with whole-grain crackers and seasonal fruit.

  • CLT Sandwich

    Cheese, lettuce and tomato layered on a whole-wheat English muffin plus grapes and yogurt.


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