6 Unhealthy Habits That Are As Bad As Smoking


We all know the dire effects pinned to smoking, but most of us unfortunately remain unaware of similarly hazardous lifestyle habits that can take a toll on our lives. Lately, numerous researches on lifestyle habits have been carried out and the findings are indeed appalling. From those stating the unhealthy effects of fats, to those outlining the problems emanating from sitting, it can be hard to legitimize the numerous studies or articles comparing some of these habits to smoking. However, most of them are indeed genuine and we sought to have an in-depth view of six common habits that expose you to equal risk levels to smoking. Fret not, as the below are quite easy to correct with little effort and dedication to keep you healthy for the longest period.

Sitting all day:

Most of us are guilty in this regard and even though regular routines, workouts and exercises may be squeezed in to our busy schedules, habitual sitting regardless of whether it is at work or car is unhealthy. According to a study carried out by Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada, inactive lifestyles are responsible for nearly 160,000 cases of various forms of cancer ranging from colon, prostate and breast cancers among others. 

Make it right: it would therefore be in your best interest to implement essential routines to break this such as taking breaks at work to move around or getting standing workstations while at it. Short walks around your neighborhood are encouraged rather than sitting all day glued to your T.V set. You may as well engage in constructive house activities such as cleaning which serves as a win-win.

Consumption of meat and cheese:

As much as we enjoy barbecues or tearing into our favorite steak, it is important to note that animal proteins are rich in IGF-1 which is a growth hormone that can also facilitate growth of cancer cells. This is proven by a study from the University of Southern California published in the journal cell metabolism, which found that middle-aged individuals on high-protein diets were four times likely to die of cancer compared to their low-protein diet counterparts. This is a mortality risk factor which equals that of smoking.

Make it right: the study above also identified that plant-based proteins such as beans which equal that of meat do not trigger the cancer cells. It is hence advisable to strike the perfect balance between high animal protein diets and vegan protein diets. It has been revealed that middle-aged adults should consume 0.8 grams of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight daily. Interesting enough, the risk in animal protein consumption dwindles significantly after the age of 65 owed to the body’s slowed production of IGF-1.

Cooking with natural gas:

34% of Americans are equipped with a gas stove at home without knowing the adverse effects they cause. The stoves emit formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide which are contaminants found in secondary cigarette smoke. In December 2013, a study in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that the three emissions from the stoves actually exceeded the set public health guidelines.

Make it right: it is indeed unfortunate that most of us never use the vent hoods in place while cooking. Did you know that ventilating the gas range can significantly reduce pollutants by up to 90%? Now that you know, make good use of the vent hoods especially by using the back burners which are positioned directly towards the hood for optimum ventilation.

Cooking with the wrong oil:

Equipping your kitchen with an electric stove for cooking, only serves as the beginning of securing yourself against cooking pollutants and not the end. Recent studies on residential and commercial kitchens have shown that high-heat cooking with vegetable oil emits particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aldehydes which are all found in secondary cigarette smoke and associated with inflammation of the airways.

Make it right: knowing the different types of oils and their uses can go a long way in avoiding the harmful emissions. A good example is olive oil which is known to be ideal for low temperature cooking and not high-heat frying while on the other hand, avocado oil is ideal for high-heat cooking. It is hence advisable to seek the “smoke- point” in all cooking oils so as to determine the one that suits your needs.

Tanning indoors:

Shockingly, a study in the journal of the American Medical Association revealed that indoor tanning is responsible for 420,000 cases of skin cancer annually in the U.S. alone while smoking causes a much lesser figure of 226,000 lung cancer cases in the same period.

Make it right: if your pale skin isn’t good enough for you then you may probably want to use natural methods of attaining a glowing skin. Increasing your tomato and carrot consumption would be a good start as revealed by a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior as they are rich in carotenoids known to boost skin tone. This helps you avoid the harmful ingredients found in some of the sunless lotions and sprays available on the market.

Lack of sleep:

True, life can be indeed hectic but enough sleep of paramount essence if problems such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and obesity among other health issues are to be avoided. In fact, a recent study revealed that sleep deprivation or not getting 6 to 7 hours of regular nightly sleep would lead to the mortality rate found in smokers. Besides this, poor-quality and interrupted sleep may also speed up the growth of tumors.

Make it right: never assume peculiar cases of fatigue as this may mean that you are suffering from certain health conditions such as sleep apnea. Consult a health professional if you feel that you aren’t getting quality sleep for further diagnosis.

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