5 Surprising Things That Are Supposedly Just As Bad As Smoking

by Yuen Yi Ying
HEALTH  |  January 27, 2018
  • Eating egg yolks
    1 / 5 Eating egg yolks

    One of the biggest risks of smoking is heart attacks and strokes, typically brought on by artherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque in arteries. In a survey of over 1,200 patients, a Canadian study found that eating egg yolks caused fatty deposits to accumulate faster in veins, at about two-thirds the rate of smoking, because of its high cholesterol content. Those who ate three or more yolks a week were found to have considerably more plaque than those who ate two or less yolks a week, while diabetics who ate an egg a day were said to have increased their heart disease risk by two to five times. Though more research remains to be done to account for factors like exercise and waist circumference, it’s probably wise to watch your yolk intake if you’re prone to heart issues.

    (Also Read: How to Reduce Cholesterol Levels With The Help of TCM)

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  • Being overweight or obese
    2 / 5 Being overweight or obese

    Excessive weight has been linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and the risk of dying from these inches up the more kilos you pack on. One study pegged being obese as having the same detrimental health effects of smoking 10 cigarettes a day. Research published in PLOS Medicine puts this into perspective, stating that having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 to 44.9 could reduce your lifespan by 6.5 years, or 13.7 years if you have a BMI of 55 to 59.9.

    (Also Read: The Best Ways to Keep Your Heart Strong And Healthy, According to a Doctor)

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  • Feeling lonely
    3 / 5 Feeling lonely

    Feeling emotionally isolated is a vicious cycle as it makes you more depressed and less keen to meet people. It also increases production of a blood-clotting protein that could cause heart attacks and strokes, as well as the production of another protein called fibrinogen which raises blood pressure and fat build-up in arteries. According to an article in Heart, this combination could lead to a 29 per cent increased risk of heart disease, or a 32 per cent increased risk of stroke, an effect likened to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University in the US.

    (Also Read: Think You Won’t Get a Stroke Cause You’re Young? Not True, Warns Doctor)

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  • Sitting all day
    4 / 5 Sitting all day

    Don’t get too comfortable in the office, as experts have warned that sitting is the new smoking. Inactivity, as you might guess, leads to the same complications caused by puffing away. To counteract the negative effects, doctors recommend getting out of your seat for at least five minutes every hour, which can improve blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels. You could also spread out the recommended one hour of exercise a day by getting some brisk walking or cycling done on your way to work or during your lunch break.

    (Also Read: Do This 10-Minute Workout to Reverse The Negative Effects of Sitting Down)

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  • Eating animal protein
    5 / 5 Eating animal protein

    If you are middle-aged (50 to 64), go easy on meats and cheeses as diets with high levels of animal protein have been found to increase the risk of cancer by four times. The study by the University of Southern California in the US also determined that protein lovers were more likely to die earlier from a variety of causes including diabetes, though the research points out that plant-based proteins didn’t seem to have the same nefarious effects as protein from animal sources. However, while protein-rich diets may not be a good idea for middle-aged folks, those 65 and older could benefit from having more protein as that’s when a particular hormone level drops, leading to weakness and muscle loss. To ensure you’re getting the right amount of protein for your age, consult with your doctor to find out just how much you should be eating. 

    (Also Read: Protein-rich Foods To Eat If You’re Skipping Meat (Besides Tofu))

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