According to Canadian researchers at the University of Calgary, eating a single high fat meal can cause an instant increase in blood pressure.
To examine the effects of a fatty meal on blood pressure, researchers compared the effects of a high fat breakfast to a low fat breakfast in 30 students between the ages of 18 and 25.
After a ten hour fast, researchers assigned participants to receive one of the two breakfasts. The following week, the study was repeated and students received the opposite meal as they received the week prior.
The high fat meal consisted of an Egg McMuffin, Sausage McMuffin and two hash brown patties. The low fat breakfast consisted of a bowl of Frosted Flakes with skim milk, a Froot Loops bar, fat-free yogurt and an orange drink.
While both breakfasts had about 830 calories, the high fat meal had 42 grams of fat, while the low fat meal had only 1 gram of fat.
Students receiving the low fat breakfast were given a salt tablet, so the salt content of both meals was similar.
Researchers found students who received the high fat meal had blood pressure measurements that were 1.5 times higher than the low fat breakfast group.
While it is known that prolonged high fat diets can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure - these findings suggest the effects may actually be much more immediate.
The findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition.
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