Dr. Mike: Cheeseburgers As Bad As Smoking? - KMSP-TV

Dr. Mike: Cheeseburgers As Bad As Smoking?

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PHILADELPHIA -

Are cheeseburgers as bad for you as smoking? New evidence suggests they could be.

But the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Dr. Mike Cirigliano joined "Good Day Philadelphia" on Friday morning to discuss the latest reports.

"Now, cigarettes will definitely kill you. Get rid of them!" Dr. Mike said. "Cheeseburgers, if you eat too much animal protein in middle age, this new study found that you have a four-fold increased risk of dying of cancer, which is similar to people who smoke. That's where that headline came from."

Dr. Mike continued, "Is it as bad as smoking? No. Smoking will kill you dead quickly."

So, should we reel in the eating of red meat earlier?

"When you are middle-aged, you need to cut back on things like animal protein," he said. "Why? Because that will have effects later in life and affect your mortality."

Early on in life and later, after turning 65, are the two times in life when you don't want to be cutting back on things like this, he said. Over the age of 65, the study found that people who cut back on protein actually were more susceptible to disease.

"Good Day Philadelphia's" Mike Jerrick suggested the doctor just give him a chart with what he should eat every day.

"No, it's very simple," Dr. Mike responded. "Fruits, vegetables – how many times do I have to say cruciferous vegetables?"

He went on to show off a humus sandwich on pita bread that he found at a convenience store.

"The plant-based protein is the way to go," Dr. Mike said. "Plant-based had no negative effects."

He added, "Everything in moderation, folks. Everything!"

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