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Some think that a full English breakfast might be a healthy way to start the day

full-english-breakfastThe full English breakfast was something Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery insisted that his troops eat every morning. This may or may not be the origin of the phrase “the full Monty,” but it certainly saw his troops ready to face what the day threw at them. A fry-up plate of eggs, sausages, bacon and beans could, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, be the healthiest way to start the day. The theory behind this claim (by Dr Martin Young of the University of Alabama at Birmingham) is that the first meal of the day causes the body to programme itself for how it will deal with foods eaten later in the day. A fatty meal ‘trains’ the body to help it metabolize fat throughout the day, whereas a carbohydrate-rich breakfast would promote carbohydrate utilization.

I don’t know if this theory is valid. I eat porage in the morning, made with semi-skimmed goats’ milk and sweetened with maple syrup or honey. When I’m away staying in hotels, though, I tend to go for the full English with toast alongside rather than fried bread on the plate. Many pubs now offer a full English fry-up, some offering a choice between baked beans and tomatoes, and some adding mushrooms. Some Cambridge ones offer it as an all-day meal, and I very occasionally might eat it as a weekend lunch. A typical one is estimated at about 977 calories, but it depends on how much you fill your plate with.

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