Lately it has become all the rage in health-related stories to compare various behaviors/dangers with the risk of smoking. In a recent study covered in this paper, it was reported that sitting on the job, and then being a couch jockey at home in front of a TV, is one of those activities that is as risky as sucking on a cigarette. Now, new research has revealed there is another popular activity that is as dangerous as the oft-employed smoking tobacco benchmark of unhealthiness. Surprisingly the activity the researchers ranked as unhealthy as smoking was eating egg yolks.
The problem with yolks is that they have been shown to increase the plaque that coats our arteries. When the plaque bursts, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Pro-egg lobbyists were quick to defend the little yellow orbs. They point out that yolks, like any other food item should be enjoyed in moderation. Too much fruit is not good for you, either. They say comparing yolk eating to smoking is unfair and damaging to their industry given that yolks provide a host of positive nutrients and pack an energy punch when your day calls for physically demanding jobs.
Even nutritionists who warn that the cholesterol count in a large-sized egg; 230 milligrams, while our recommended daily intake is just 300, suggest that having up to three eggs a week would not be harmful. It’s not like they are addictive as tobacco products are.
Additionally, as one wag pointed out, it’s not like people around you are getting “second-hand cholesterol” from anyone eating eggs in their vicinity.
“It goes without saying that smoking is considered one of the most harmful activities when it comes to your personal health and wellness,” Karen Harvey, nutrition officer for The Egg Farmers of Canada.
Vancouver dietician, Desiree Nielsen, also weighed into the debate. She believes the comparison is unfair, as well.
“Eggs scrambled with plenty of vegetables and served with a single piece of sprouted grain toast is a dramatically different meal than greasy fried eggs served with giant slices of ham, hash browns and white toast. One meal has plenty of nutrition; the other is fibre-poor, drowning in salt and fat,” she was quoted as saying in a recent Global report.
“While statistically, the risk of eating eggs might have been similar to the risk of smoking in this particular study – in reality, you absolutely cannot compare the two.”
The researchers who compare bad behaviors to smoking, of course, risk tobacco companies using their findings to trumpent “Smoking No More Dangerous Than Sitting or Eating Eggs”.