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Ditch the Sarnie

Most of us grab a sandwich for lunch - it's the Great British food afterall ... but what's in a sarnie and why might it not be a good thing to eat .. particularly in the middle of a busy day?

Firstly - the bread - Unless you are making your own or buying very specific (and usually expensive) loaves, your bread is likely to be an Ultra Processed Food (UPF) ... even the best, simplest bought breads that go stale in a day and have no added 'weird-word' ingredients (you know the ones - lecithin, mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids, methylcellulose etc etc) still tend to contain over refined and bad for us vegetable oils, and the flour itself (if not stone-ground wholegrain) is a refined carbohydrate. So what effect do these have on our body:

  1. the vegetable oils (and the 'weird-word' ingredients) promote inflammatory responses around our body. - leading, over time to minor irritation / inflammation of many of our organs and organ coverings, which in turn leads to anything from brain fog to chronic back pain.

  2. the carbohydrate levels in the sandwich lead us to have a bit of a sugar high, usually then followed by a sugar slump - that mid afternoon tiredness that hits so many of us is often the fault of the sandwich!

Next - the spread - are you using butter - great unless you have dairy intolerance issues (and you might, without knowing - see for a lot of information on this) or are you using low fat / seed oil spread or even margarine? - see above for note on vegetable oils ... and once turned into solids or emulsions through further processing to make spreads these effects are increased.

Finally your filling - The UK's favourite sandwich is ham and cheese, with egg mayo coming in second in most polls I could find.

Taking the ham and cheese - Ham unfortunately nowadays is almost ubiquitously an UPF with nitrates and metabisuphites often on the ingredients list where in the olden days it would have simply been pork and salt and time.

So what about the egg mayo - well again, unless you are going to make your own mayonnaise with fresh egg yolk, a good quality vinegar and olive oil, you are likely to be buying UPF. There are one or two brands out there where this is not the case (Hunter and Gather is one of the easiest to source - but they are pretty expensive - unfortunately, this is because real food actually is expensive to produce - in time, in land, in hand processing and because it needs to be made and eaten fresh. (see my personal blog EcoGreenGP Ponders - True Cost Accounting for more on this)

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