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The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Fast Food Breakfast and Diabetes

Updated on May 6, 2013

It’s obvious that Americans are too busy to fix their own breakfast. Just check out the parking lot or a drive-thru line at any popular fast food restaurant between 6:00 and 10:30 A.M., any day of the week.

As a Type II diabetic, a healthy breakfast is important to me. I'll tell you why.

Many, many years ago, I had a problem with my kidneys. I was told I would be on dialysis within five years. Or, I could take a chance and take massive doses of Prednisone®, a steroid, and hope for a remission. I chose the steroids over dialysis and have been in remission ever since. Yep, it worked and I'm healthy. But...prolonged steroid use can result in the development of Type II diabetes later in life. And it did.

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes after noticing some pretty significant changes in my vision. As a diabetic who manages their blood sugars well and only takes the minimum of oral medications, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me. I need protein and the right type and amount of fat to maintain stable glucose levels throughout the day. It takes a bit of creativity to avoid breakfast boredom but it’s worth the effort to feel good.

,Like everyone who is too busy these days, I sometimes opted for a fast food drive-thru on the way to work rather than fixing my own breakfast at home. And I spent a lot of money. What’s a biscuit without a cup of coffee? Right? On average, a trip through the drive-through for breakfast would cost me $3.00 - $4.00.

When I was laid off from my job in April, I knew my food budget would have to change. I would need to be more frugal in everything I did. Cooking with fresh foods isn't cheap but I love to cook and I’m pretty good at it. For breakfast today I made an open-faced sandwich on whole grain toast with egg, cheese, and sliced tomato. As I was savoring the goodness of that sandwich with a fresh cup of hazelnut coffee, I started thinking about the cost of this sandwich that tasted ten times better than a fast food sandwich. And, it was a hell of a lot healthier too.


Save money and fix a healthy breakfast at home.
Save money and fix a healthy breakfast at home.

Let's do the math

Now this is not a scientific study. I have not looked up nor calculated the cost per ounce but its close enough to show you that we are being robbed of our money and our health by these fast food giants.

  1. Egg and Cheese Biscuit, medium coffee at Hardees - $3.99
  2. Egg, cheese, tomato sandwich, medium coffee at home - $0.65

When I calculated the cost of making my own breakfast, I felt like an idiot. It took me less than five minutes to make, it tasted awesome, and saved me $3.34.

Don’t misunderstand, subconsciously I’ve always known it was cheaper to eat at home but I had never taken the time to actually think about it. I didn’t have time, not for something that trivial. My life was consumed with working, getting to the job and doing the best job I could. At what cost? The cost of my own health? My finances? For what – a biscuit that -

  • doesn’t taste all that great
  • is loaded with fat, carbohydrates, starch, and calories
  • costs more than three times that of a home-made breakfast

We are such fools! “They” tempt us with colorful images, coupons, "two-fer" bargains, and we throw our health and wealth at them like they are gods.

What’s wrong with this picture?

We don't have to be victims. It's not hard to eat healthy on a budget. We just have to change our attitude and do a bit of research. Healthy food is not only good for us, it tastes a lot better than fast, fat and carb laden foods, and I guarantee you will feel better if you make the switch. You'll save money too.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Vickiw. You are so right about the salt content in fast food. I will always stand by my thought that food prepared at home tastes like love. lol Thanks for the visit.

  • profile image

    Vickiw 4 years ago

    This was great Hub to write Irc7815, and I am sure it will encourage and help a lot of people, economically as well as health wise. When you want to duplicate the taste of dishes, it is usually to do with the spices used, or in the case of fast food, just add another 4 teaspoons of salt, and you should get it pretty exact. There are such simp,e dishes to prepare at home, and to me, they always taste better!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks LaThing. Breakfast is my most important meal of the day. Good job on teaching your children to do it right. It's so much easier than having to unlearn bad behavior. Thanks for the votes but mostly, for just being here and reading my hub. :-)

  • LaThing profile image

    LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

    Great hub, Linda! We avoid Drive-Thru breakfast like a plague..... It's not just the fat, and the cost (ofcourse, those are important also), but it's the example we are setting for our children! Breakfast is important and it can be prepared at home.

    I like the cost comparision you did, very helpful. Voting up and interesting.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi glassvisage! Thanks for reading my hub. Your new favorite breakfast sounds yummy! I'll give it a try.

  • glassvisage profile image

    glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

    I think breakfast is one of the easiest meals to save on. My favorite lately has been two eggs with soy chorizo from Trader Joe's, with some cilantro and/or onions. It's so much cheaper than going out to eat! Thanks for sharing this Hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    bravewarrior - I like your idea of adding yogurt or cottage cheese. I just don't like crunchy early in the morning and haven't been able to overcome it. Weird!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, add to that your cost in gas while idling at the drive thru!

    Once in a blue moon I'd run thru the drive thru for breakfast as a deviation. I keep (kept because I just resigned!) a box of organic oatmeal, a box of Kashi cereal, a small tumbler of cinnamon, a bag of walnuts, and a container of ground flax seed at my desk. I'd bring a container of greek yogurt or cottage cheese and fresh blueberries. I'd add cinnamon and the ground flaxseed to my concoction. Or I'd make a parfait out of the cottage cheese, fresh fruit, flaxseed and cinnamon.

    Eating whole foods that Mother Nature provides is the way to go!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey Austinstar! I appreciate your being here and sharing with me. I've got to work on my Kashi aversion. I'm afraid I like cereal anytime except in the morning. Almond milk is okay but I just don't like cereal early in the day. Now, eggs for dinner - a different story. I'ts one of my favorites and I frequently make omlets for dinner. Don't wince but I love an omelet of eggs, cheese, green pepper and onions. It's especially good with a little salsa on the side. One of my favorites. Give it a try.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    carol7777 - Thanks for visiting commenting, and voting too. I'm a toast and almond butter girl too. I talk a good game but I don't always do so well. Writing about it does reinforce better behavior though. lol

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    I love cooking my own breakfast, but since we are supposed to eat more whole grains (diabetics), I like to eat them for breakfast. I eat Kashi or other grainy cereal with almond milk for breakfast. It is boring, but easy to make.

    Eggs are one of my favorite foods, though and I make them for dinner sometimes. It's hard to find a veggie to go with eggs.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

    Your advice is good for all of us. Staying away from fast foods all the time is the way to go. We have toast with almond butter and fruit almost everyday...and have eggs also. Eating healthy makes sense all the time. Thanks for sharing this. Vote UP.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    You are so right Georgie. Kudos to you for have the good sense to do it now.

  • Georgie Lowery profile image

    Georgianna Lowery 5 years ago from Lubbock, TX

    I got off of the fast food train a while ago, it was expensive (even though it's billed as cheap and fast) and too much of it was awful for my waistline. I eat so much better now, but I do crave a Quarter Pounder once in a while! Everyone should think about this. We may be healthy now, but years of that stuff will take its toll!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Jill. I'm a coffee nut, plain and simple and nothing ever tastes as good to me as a fresh cup from a clean pot at home. My sandwich ws delicious! I picked up some free range eggs and local tomatoes this weekend. It's hard to beat locally grown, fresh food. Thanks for reading and comenting. It means a lot to hear that others enjoyed your work.

  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

    Although I sometimes love a drive-thru cup of coffee, the greasy biscuits and breakfast sandwiches at fast-food places have never appealed to me. Your homemade breakfast sandwich really does sound best, in every way--moneywise, healthwise, tastewise (is that a word?) and definitely companywise. (: Enjoyed your hub. --Jill

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Sassy. Thanks for your comments. I couldn't help but giggle at your trying to duplicate the taste of your favorite burrito. I've been trying to duplicate my mother's recipes for over 40 years. I finally concluded that it is impossible because over times, her pots and pans have been seasoned with different foods than mine. The only way to re-create her recipes exactly is to cook in her pots.

  • profile image

    SassySue1963 5 years ago

    All you say here is absolutely true!!! We have become victims to the fast paced life we lead. I don't have an issue with breakfast boredom because I love breakfast foods! :) However, I have a love of McDonald's breakfast burritos. To date, even though I have tried all the "create fast food at home" recipes on the internet, I have not been able to duplicate the taste I love. I do limit this luxury to about once a month now as I was laid off and am now among the underemployed, but I so wish I could duplicate them at home. Nice hub!