High Protein Diet and Smoking: Are They Just As Dangerous?
In today’s modern world, too many habits are damaging, too many diets are unhealthy, and too many products are unnecessary. Smoking is one of the most unpopular habits that ironically hit the top of the charts in causing preventable deaths the US.
For so many years, cigarettes have gone through a huge decline in terms of sales and circulation due to the exposition of its harmful effects on human health in the 1950s. Despite this, the overall health conditions of the American population continue to dwindle.
Apart from smoking, poor diet largely contributes to the deterioration of America’s mortality rate in general. The arrival and success of fast food restaurants and processed food products, as well as misinformation, have introduced the majority of the population to high calorie, high fat, high sodium, high sugar, and high protein diets.
Knowing High Protein Diets and What They Offer
High protein diets have become popular for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts today. Because of its benefits in muscle building and fat burning, high protein diets have been practiced by health and physique conscious individuals. Unfortunately, a claim regarding its negative effects was released early 2014, and has created a scare towards those who previously believed in the efficacy of high protein diets.
A high protein diet consists of protein rich foods such as eggs, dairy, meat, nuts, and legumes. It steers away from carbohydrates and fats. To be considered as high in protein, a diet must have at least 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. For people who are working out and into body building, a high protein diet should at least consist of 1 gram of protein for every pound of weight.
A few well-liked examples of high protein plans are the Paleo and Atkins Diet. Among others, these high protein diets are known to sustain the production of the IGF-1, a growth hormone that promotes the build-up of muscles and regeneration of tissues and cartilages after being torn down due to weight lifting and other forms of physical exercise. In previous studies prior to the high protein scare, high levels of IGF-1 has been associated to the increase of cancer risks, which some claim and describe to be about the same rate as smoking 20 sticks of cigarette per day.
According to researchers from the University of Southern California, the same group who claimed to have seen the highly negative effects of high protein diets, red meat, eggs, and dairy are the top-most cancer-causing protein rich foods that should be avoided.
However, it should be noted that studies regarding the risks of cancer from high protein diets did not take into consideration the physical activities of the subjects or persons involved. It is, therefore, incomplete, limited, and not encompassing. However, there is finality that too much of protein, especially red meat, can obviously pose dangers to your health.
The Dangers of Comparing High Protein Diets to Smoking Hazards
According to Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, University of Reading food nutrition scientist, “It is wrong, and potentially even dangerous, to compare the effects of smoking with the effect of meat and cheese.”
Smoking is much worse than probably any other unhealthy habit due to its toxicity, addictiveness, and the extent that it affects human health. It does not only affect the smoker, but also those who inhale second hand smoke, and those who come in contact with third hand smoke as well.
Dr. Kuhnle said that with such claims comparing high protein diets to smoking, smokers and other people might think that quitting smoking is insignificant since eating the normal ham and cheese sandwich will have the same effects.
The general conclusion regarding this issue is simple: too much of anything can be harmful. Nonetheless, when comparing the two, smoking is far dangerous compared to high protein diets. Humans need protein to get the best nutrition out of a complete and healthy diet. On the contrary never has it been proven, nor claimed, that human bodies need cigarette smoke to function properly. In fact, the latter only interferes with proper body and mental function and efficiency.