In the fight between which one is worse, we are presenting to you the ultimate match: carbs vs smoking.
We have two burning questions:
- Which one is worst for your body than the other?
- Which one is easier to give up than the other?
First, let us include some comments from experts who have shared their thoughts with us on this matter.
For Mansi Saraiya, who is a registered diet consultant and food coach, this is a one-sided comparison as Carbs are not bad. Carbs are in fact useful. They are fuel to your body’s engine; furnish soluble and insoluble fiber and a host of vital nutrients. For her, smoking doesn’t have any health benefits. Nicotine use has various negative clinical implications on the cellular and endocrine level. It has no value in helping to tackle obesity either.
She acknowledges that quitting anything is never easy but quitting smoking, along with a balanced diet, is important to have a balanced mind.
Claudia Gravaghi is a nutritionist, scientist, pharmacist, and formulator. She specializes in developing specific diets for diseases such as the Chron’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, thyroid issues, etc. She brings our attention to the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has demonstrated about 40,000 annual diagnoses of lung cancer and about 5 million people who die from smoking-related causes.
Nobody denies the toxic effect of cigarette smoke and similar, and there is no doubt that tobacco abuse can be considered an addiction. Nicotine, which is an alkaloid, certainly has a degree of toxicity with all the other toxic substances contained in the cigarette that may affect the respiratory capacity.
It is important to note that the demonstration of the link between smoking and increased risk to lung cancer dates back to the 1950s, followed by several studies that have shown causality.
I suggest reading the following articles:
It’s scientifically proven that nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, adds Steph Catlin, a fully qualified Sport and Exercise Nutritionist registered to the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register. The main reason for a person to smoke is the relaxing, stress-relieving feeling it provides. People reach for carbs searching for the same relaxing, stress-relieving feeling. So if both offer the same benefits, she wonders, is a carbohydrate addictive in the same way as smoking?
A carbohydrate in its simplest form is sugar. If you think you are addicted to carbs that would mean you go around craving bags of plain sugar granules… So yes, you can be addicted to smoking, but scientists are not aware of any physically addictive component of a carbohydrate, therefore leading us to believe it’s a psychological impact. Steph argues that the only way carbs become a problem is if you overeat them and gain weight. For her, there is no arguing: smoking is worse.
Chad is a superstar. He is a wellness coach and a triathlete. On top of all this, he runs a successful program, the Primed for your Life. It helps people reverse type 2 diabetes, hypertension, quit smoking and eat better quality food. He agrees with the other experts’ input. Smoking, according to him, is a form of poison you are putting into your body.
For him, however, carbs are also a form of poison just like smoking. Indeed, some cigarettes have glyphosate in them just like cheap carbs like many forms of bread, pasta and noodles contain.
The verdict is in from our experts and they deem smoking as the worst and the hardest to give up.
What is research saying?
There was a research conducted at the University of Texas which reporting carbs as being potentially worse than smoking cigarettes. The study suggests that non-smokers whose diet is high in glycemic index were two times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than those who were non-smokers and had a low glycemic diet. Foods such as white bread, bagels, white potatoes and such should be stirred clear from.
This is a contentious topic amongst researchers. Some experts have vocally expressed their concerns about the amount of sugar that many foods now contain. Cheaper food are easier to crop and are high in carbohydrates, but low in other important nutrients. Some believe that carbs are worse while others believe that smoking is way more dangerous and harder to quit.
The reason for why carbs are harder to quit is because we are exposed to it since a very early age. We almost have no say in how much carbs goes into our food. We can only limit the consumption by eating less of some food groups. However, the presence of carbs in every food item in the grocery aisles makes it almost impossible to stay away from it.
Smoking, on the other hand, is a personal choice. Although addictive in nature, it is something that individuals mostly prefer to do out of choice when exposed to it at the beginning. Numerous studies have linked the strong association between tobacco use with cancer, cardiovascular diseases and a variety of human health effects.
The reality about smoking
Smoking causes cancer, but it also damages other organs in your body, including the heart, skin, eyes, bones, reproductive organs, and many more. There are endless reasons as to why smoking is injurious for the health, but we’ve still made the following list to demonstrate just as to how bad it is:
Increases your chances of getting cancer, which can include and are not exclusive to the following cancers:
Symptoms may include:
- Damages your lungs and causes pneumonia and asthma to get worse
- Increases your chances of getting chronic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD)
- Affects the heart and the blood vessels, increasing the chances of heart disease and stroke
- Female smokers start their menopause earlier than those who do not smoke
- Increases the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy for women
- Increases the risk of potency and erectile dysfunction in male smokers
In the US, it is reported that 480,000 and more people die due to smoking related diseases on a yearly basis. Smoking related deaths are higher than deaths caused by alcohol, HIV, drug abuse, car accidents. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking can cut about 12 years off your life if you are a male and 11 years if you are a female.
What about carbs?
Let’s face it: carbs is present in just about everything. Vegetables have them, fruits have them, meat has them, most drinks have them. It is hard to not find carbs in abundance at your local grocery store. However, it is important to make a distinction between good carbs and bad carbs, if there is any.
The “bad carbs” are bad because they contain sugar, added sugar, refined white grains and other possible processed ingredients. Good carbs are moderately low in calorie density, contain a variety of nutrients good for the health, have no refined sugars or grains, and are high in fiber.
Research shows that those who follow a low-carb diet can decrease the risks of heart disease and stroke. Low fat diet is more effective at lowering cholesterol and LDL and more effective at increasing HDL while decreasing triglycerides. Because “bad carbs” have refined sugar in them, it takes longer for our bodies to break them and therefore causing spikes in our blood levels which contribute to hunger and cravings for other high carb foods.
Carbs shouldn’t be in the category, as I feel carbs are completely safe if one knows how much to eat (as per their macros) and also when to eat the same. In today’s scenario, people are scared away from carbs because they don’t have the right nutritional information. In addition, instead of healthy carbs, they’re inclined towards junk food, which is cheaper these days than the healthy food source.
- Carb, as it turns out, is equally damaging (if not worse) for the health as smoking
- They are equally hard to give up
- Carb lovers could be at high risk of developing lung cancer, even if they have never smoked
- 1 in 5 deaths are contributed to smoking related diseases annually in the US
Health benefits of giving up smoking and carbs
- Your heart rate and blood pressure will go back to normal (they are extremely high during the smoking period)
- You will notice improved circulation
- A few months after quitting, lung function is demonstrably improved
- You will lower your risks of getting cancer, heart disease, stroke or any other chronic disease related to smoking
- Oxygen levels are normalized
- You will notice less coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
- Much more!!
- You feel less noticeably hungry
- You decrease your risk of getting diabetes
- More energy and less fogginess of the brain
- Your taste buds will get sharper
- Lose fat, especially from the abdominal area
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
- The Ultimate Health Insurance Guide for Individuals with Diabetes
- 20 Books People with Diabetes Should Read
- 14 Reasons Why Most Diets Fail
- 58 Experts Share Life-changing Tips And Strategies To Stop Binge Eating
- Experts Share Their Best Tips On How to Cut Calories and Lose Weight
- 101 Healthy Dessert Recipes
Tips on quitting smoking
- Keep yourself busy
- Quit gradually
- Go for nicotine replacement substitutes
- If you slip up, don’t give up
- Reward yourself for trying
Living a long and healthy life is all about making the right choices, however hard they may be. While quitting to smoke is hard due to its addictive nature, it is important to if you want to lead a long life. If you are experiencing difficulties with smoking, consult your doctors for healthy ways you can continue with quitting. You will also need a robust network of people who will support and encourage your efforts.
Cutting carb is hard and, according to some experts, unnecessary. But research does demonstrate that lowering your carb intake can do wonders to your body and may even aid in the better management of many chronic diseases. Work with a nutritionist or a dietician to find out ways in which you can cut unnecessary carbs out of your diet and decrease its intake with swapping for better alternatives.