Fast food is constantly being marketed as a delicious, quick and easy option to include in your normal diet. However, while fast food may seem like an appealing and easy option, the negative health impact that it has may not be all that appealing to you once you do your research. For example, if breakfast sandwiches are a normal part of your diet, you may want to reconsider changing up your morning routine after learning the findings of recent research from the University of Calgary.
A typical breakfast sandwich consists of processed meat and cheese on a bun and it is loaded with calories from fat. Over time, the fat that you consume in your diet (whether it is from a breakfast sandwich or elsewhere) can build up in your arteries. A diet that is high in fat is associated with the development of atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing of your arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to significant health problems such as heart disease including heart attack and stroke.
Determining blood flow into your arm using velocity time interval (VTI) is one way in which you can determine how well your arteries are functioning. VTI can be measured using Doppler ultrasound at rest and then again after a blood pressure cuff has been placed on your arm and inflated. The higher the measurement, the healthier (and happier) your arteries are.
Researchers at the University of Calgary wanted to see the effect of eating one high-fat meal on microvascular function. Microvascular function gives a picture of overall blood vessel health. Participants were monitored on two days. On the first day they had no breakfast and their VTI was measured. On the second day, their VTI was measured after eating two breakfast sandwiches that had 900 calories and 50g of fat. The results showed that VTI decreased by 15-20% two hours after eating the breakfast sandwiches as part of their morning diet.
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The results from this study show that adding high fat foods, especially breakfast sandwiches, into your diet have a drastic negative impact on your health. The researchers caution that while the effects may be temporary after one individual high fat meal, the long term effects of consuming a high fat diet may be more harmful and may happen more quickly than you believe. While researchers have not identified why blood flow is temporarily decreased following consumption of high fat food in the diet, the body is clearly not happy so a diet high in fat should be avoided.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is a common condition that is serious and costly. Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems including: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. There are some medical conditions that cause weight gain and lead to obesity including: hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome and Cushing’s Syndrome. However, there are a number of non-medical reasons that lead to weight gain and obesity including: over-eating, eating a diet high in sugar and fat and physical inactivity. The CDC states that over one third of Americans suffer from obesity and this number may continue to rise if our eating and exercising habits don’t change.
In order to maintain a healthy weight, you have to monitor the delicate balance between calories in and calories out. If you consume more calories than you expend, weight gain is inevitable. While if you consume fewer calories that you expend, you will lose weight. Determining the balance between calories in and out can be difficult in the beginning so keeping a daily diet diary may be beneficial. Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly and skipping the tempting breakfast sandwich will not only make your arteries happy, it will help to keep your weight in check.
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