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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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