That Thing You Love Is The New Smoking
Men's Health South Africa|December 2018
That Thing You Love Is The New Smoking

Lately, Everything From Sitting To Smartphones Is Being Called Tobacco’s Successor. But Is Labelling Something The “New Smoking” Ever Justified? We Scoured The Science To Determine Which Habits Are Truly Bad And Which Are Actually Just Victims Of Hype.

Joe Madden and Alex Gardner

SUGAR

THE SCARE

Sugar is as addictive as meth, cheap as hell, and a contributor to the obesity epidemic!

THE BACKSTORY

The public’s prodigious sugar consumption has been a media mainstay for years. It’s been linked to high blood pressure, liver damage, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, apocalyptic teeth... Then there are the tales of sugar’s evil dependency. One decade-old study found that lab rats chose saccharine or sugar over cocaine – even when they were addicted to cocaine.

THE FACTS

When it comes to added sugar (the stuff not naturally in a food), there’s reason for the hype. The American Heart Association tells us to limit added sugar to 630kJ worth per day. Excess added sugar leads to a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, says professor Kimber Stanhope, a researcher and dietician at the University of California. Note: there’s cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk independent of weight gain. Good news: you will probably never consume dangerous amounts of sugar from fruits or veggies in solid form; they provide fibre to help your body process the sweet stuff in a healthier way. But beware the sugars in fruit juice; some experts believe they may be just as dangerous.

THE NEW SMOKING?

Excess added sugar is definitely a threat.

Danger

8/10

BACON

THE SCARE

Like a sizzling Judas, our beloved breakfast protein has betrayed us. Eating 50 grams daily (less than five slices) may increase our risk of colorectal cancer by 18%!

THE BACKSTORY

In 2015, the World Health Organisation suggested bacon and other processed meats be classified as “carcinogenic to humans” – the same label given to asbestos and smoking tobacco. Curing or smoking meats can spawn carcinogenic compounds.

THE FACTS

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December 2018