Why bacon for breakfast can kill you

October 31, 2012, 10:42 amYahoo!7

Study finds that just one high-fat meal can affect your heart health.

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It's a sad day indeed when we learn the news that one of our favourite (yet diet-deadly) breakfast foods can actually kill us.

Sure, we've known for a long time that breakfast bacon ain't exactly diet food, but now we have proof of just how bad it is and just how quickly it can cause bad health.

According to a new study led by Dr. Todd Anderson, Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher and head of cardiac science at the University of Calgary, Canada, if you eat a breakfast high in fat (think: bacon, cheese etc) your body will be feeling the bad effects well before lunch.

Why? High-fat diets are associated with developing atherosclerosis over your lifetime. Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries that can cause serious problems including heart disease, stroke or even death.

And just one day of eating a breakfast high in fat results in unhappy blood vessels, says Dr. Anderson, so it's time to strike bacon, cheese and high-fat buns from the breakfast menu.

Delegates at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress heard yesterday about a study at Dr. Anderson's lab, led by student researcher Vincent Lee. The key ingredients: breakfast sandwiches and a group of healthy, non-smoking university students.

The study measured the effects of just one high-fat meal on microvascular function - an indicator of overall vascular (or blood vessel) health.

The students were studied twice, once on a day they had no breakfast, and once on a day when they consumed two commercially available breakfast sandwiches which had a total of 900 calories and 50 g of fat. Two hours after eating the sandwiches, their VTI (or blood flow) had decreased by 15-20 per cent, reports Dr. Anderson.

"VTI tells us how much blood flow you can you get in your arm," says Dr. Anderson. The higher the better, which means the small vessels can dilate to capacity, and the blood vessel hormones are working well. Therefore a decrease is a bad sign.

From just one isolated meal, the results are temporary. But the study shows that such a high-fat offering can do more harm, and do it more quickly, than people might think.

"I won't say don't ever have a breakfast sandwich," says Dr. Anderson. But enough of a diet like that, and you can see how you can build up fat in the walls of your arteries."

"This study reminds us that our behaviours are the backbone of preventing heart disease," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson.

"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."

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

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  1. The Skud09:47am Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    DON'T PANIC! Wait another week ... there will be another survey / study out that vindicates bacon as a healthy food. Like any single food, you cannot live on it, but moderate enjoyment at Macca's can be good for you. Ah, bacon ...

  2. Roger01:54pm Thursday 08th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hows the low fat high carbers going? Sweating like pigs & getting FATTER, We have been led down the wrong path, sugar, margarine, oils & Hybrid wheat are the main culprits, study after study shows high fat & saturated fat are heart friendly!

  3. Glib12:53pm Tuesday 06th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Does not even mention that bacon is incredibly high in sodium, which is much worse for you than the fat.

  4. Fluffy Fin Chop08:58am Thursday 01st November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I used to worry about foods with E's in them but it meant I couldn't eat Eggs, Eggplant or mEat in fact I was starting to really get hungry so I'm now eating foods with E's in them again.

  5. Paula Bradley04:52am Thursday 01st November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    stop buying dead pigs! pigs are just as smart as dogs and feel pain the same as you or i.

    1 Reply
  6. Gumustreeus01:41am Thursday 01st November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This study provides further evidence that universities the world over, produce a conga line of self opiniated idiots

  7. Ray12:33am Thursday 01st November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    If we took any notice of the media we would never eat anything.

  8. Bob11:41pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Was it the fat, maybe the salt or even something else in the meal and how did it compare with cereal and fruit or high sugar. Suspect we have a climate change moment here with our breakfast diet inferring even one meal like this does damage. For mine a bacon and egg breakfast every now and then is AOK.

  9. wanderer08:51pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    work in the rice paddies you lazy westerners, then you can have the occasional bacon sandwich

  10. Will08:30pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This guy is a total idiot. The key is keeping your calories down to approx 1500 to 2000 KCal per day. How you achieve that is immaterial. It could be a high protein low carbohydrate or a diet of chocolates. It really doesnt matter as long as you keep those calories that you consume at 1500 to 2000 KCals per day. Microvascular function ie tone of vessels is dependant on so many variables it is so idiotic and simplistic to believe that eating bacon has an instantaneous effect on flow. This is the kind of crappy research that goes on and you tax payers pay for that. Idiots!!


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