Eggs and Smoking

You're probably saying to yourself, "Eggs and what?" Or maybe you've seen one of the many articles in the media lately which compare those two very things. How did this come about, that we would talk about eating eggs and smoking in the same ragged, emphysemic breath? New studies, of course. In particular, one that was performed in Canada which showed that people who eat eggs regularly (3 or more per week) would exhibit about two thirds as much plaque build-up in their arterial walls as smokers. The New York Daily News advised their readers to "think twice before you bite into a hearty breakfast of eggs benedict slathered in hollandaise sauce — you may as well be lighting up, according to a new study." 

Kathy Freston was quick to review this study, as were others (The Daily MailScience Daily, etc.). Dr. Joel Fuhrman, on the other hand, reviewed the science behind the study in "Comparing Eggs and Cigarettes" and concluded that there was little evidence for the claims that eating three eggs a week was comparable to smoking. For one thing, this was a study based on 1200 individuals, comparing just those two things: high egg consumption and smoking. There was little control for other risk factors and was only an observational study, as some railed.

But then along came the Harvard Nurses Health Study with its 120,000 participants and data collection on hundreds of risk factors dating back to 1976. Dr. Michael Greger made an entire video entitled "Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death" (which I urge you to watch - thanks to loyal reader CS from New Hamburg, Ontario for bringing it to my attention) reviewing the study's "competing risks analysis," and he leads off with this same connection: consuming the amount of cholesterol found in just one egg per day cuts a woman's life short as much as smoking 5 cigarettes a day for 15 years - after controlling for other lifestyle risks and behaviours. This didn't stop with just eggs, but looked at the impact of animal product consumption on all the leading causes of death (which is why you need to watch it).

With this more comprehensive and well-designed, well-respected study in hand, Kathy Freston felt that she could proclaim "Meat is the New Tobacco." Remember how long the tobacco industry tried to pretend there was nothing wrong and that their product was not harmful - have a look at the hilarious propaganda video Freston includes in the above piece. We have ample evidence of the disastrous health consequences of eating animal products, but the huge and lucrative industry which sells them is going to keep on saying they are no risk to our health. Self-interest, anyone? Even Dr. Fuhrman's blog team had no qualms about concluding, "It's time for our country to accept that poor diets are just as bad as smoking."

So we can conclude that eggs, as an animal product, are dangerous to our health, as are meat and dairy products... and smoking. Hence the reason for Meatless Mondays in the first place. I'm sure millions of people have quit smoking on a Monday, because it is the kind of day that inspires positive change. Brand new week, whole new healthy attitude. Today's recipe comes to us care of loyal reader CEY of London, Ontario (AKA my mom - thanks, Mom!). It is a raw food recipe, for a change, and a dessert, for those who have requested more desserts. It is eggless, meat-free and dairy-free. Please don't smoke while you are preparing it and you'll have the recipe for a great day. Happy Monday!


  1. Really? Eggs are now comparable with smoking? Eggs are natural foods and filled with some nutrients and high cholesterol while tobacco is filled with hundreds of chemicals. Plus, it's never nutritious.

  2. Hi, Marie. Thanks for your comment. Yes, it sounds weird - but keep in mind they are comparable only in their health impact, not, for instance, in terms of flavour. :)

    As you mention, they are high in cholesterol, which may be a clue to their damaging effect. They are, after all, a chicken's ovulation - her period, as it were - and I'm not sure how that got classified as a "natural food."


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