Fast-food breakfast sandwiches can negatively impact your heart before your next meal

Jodi Davis

| 3 min read

In this fast paced world, it’s quite common to leave the house in the morning without eating breakfast. Millions of people do it. There are countless tasks that must be taken care of at home before the work day even begins. This is one of the reasons why countless individuals take a quick trip through the drive thru window at a fast-food restaurant to pick up a hot and tasty breakfast sandwich.
These sandwiches help to fill an empty stomach and often allow you to believe that you have consumed something that is good for you. Warm bread, cheese, eggs and meat are the typical ingredients to these fast-food creations. A breakfast sandwich may sound healthy enough, but many of these breakfast sandwiches are so high in bad fats that your arteries will instantly be affected. Research shows these popular breakfast items can have a big negative impact on your heart health. And this impact can happen in just a few hours, even before lunchtime arrives.
According to researchers from Canada, blood flow in the arteries is slowed by 15-20 percent only two hours after eating a fast-food breakfast sandwich. The study involved 20 college-age students who were of good health and did not have any form of heart disease. They were asked to eat a high-fat (50 grams of more) fast-food breakfast sandwich. The researchers measured the blood vessel function before the individuals consumed the meal and then measured it again two hours after the meal.
The results of the study showed that only a couple hours after eating the fast-food breakfast sandwich, blood flow in the arteries had slowed, some up to 20 percent. The conclusion, a high-fat breakfast sandwich that many individuals consume daily can do more harm and more rapidly rate than anyone ever realized before.
“This study reminds us that our behaviors are the backbone of preventing heart disease,” says Dr. Beth Abramson, of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. “Remember that whether you eat at home or go to a restaurant, you’re still in charge of what you eat. So consider all the choices, and try to cut down on saturated and trans fats, calories and sodium. That’s one of the keys to decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.”
But you can still enjoy a breakfast sandwich in the morning, all you need to know is where to go to find the healthier choices available. Eating Well magazine lists several good-for-you breakfast sandwich options, as well as those that are not so good for your heart health. Or there is also another option. Make up a healthy sandwich at home before you go to bed at night. All it takes is two pieces of whole-wheat bread, low-fat peanut butter and no-sugar fruit preserves. Yes, the familiar PB&J is a nutritious good-for-you breakfast and a great way to start the day.
If you find that you’re running late and have no other choice other than ordering a breakfast sandwich at the closest available fast-food restaurant here’s a couple tips: try to substitute egg whites for whole eggs and avoid the meat or cheese to keep the excess fat at a minimum. Remember to eat a healthy breakfast every single day, skipping breakfast is a big no-no when you’re trying to stay healthy!
Do you have a favorite healthy breakfast sandwich that is found at a fast-food restaurant?
Photo credit: calamity_hane

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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