11/02/2012 12:00 am ET

Why High-Fat Breakfast Sandwiches May Not Be Best For Your Heart

If your a.m. meal of choice is a high-fat breakfast sandwich, you may want to rethink your breakfast preference for the sake of your heart.

A new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress shows that eating just two of those typical high-fat sandwiches -- you know, processed cheese and some kind of meat nestled inside two halves of a bun -- in a day can take a real toll on your blood flow and blood pressure.

It can make "your blood vessels become unhappy," study researcher Dr. Todd Anderson, the director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, said in a statement.

For the study, Anderson examined college students to see how high-fat breakfast sandwiches affected their blood pressure, by seeing how much blood is able to flow in their arms -- a measurement called VTI, or velocity time integral. A VTI that is high is good, because that means the vessels are able to dilate as much as possible, allowing for the flow of blood through the vessels.

The participants had their VTI measured one day when they had no breakfast, and then on one day when they had two 900-calorie breakfast sandwiches that had 50 grams of fat.

Researchers found that the participants VTI were 15 to 20 percent lower -- which is a bad sign for blood flow -- two hours after they ate the breakfast sandwiches, compared with when they didn't eat breakfast.



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