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Question
Posted by: Smoker | 2010/03/29

Smoking = ? high cholesterol

Hi, Doc

I''ve been recently assessed: am 26 years old, have a healthy BMI, exercise 5 times a week, blood glucose is normal, BUT I have a high cholesterol count. My family also don''t have a history of high cholesterol and I use healthy cooking methods.

Is there a mechanism for how my smoking can increase cholesterol? And how does sugar increase your trigliserides? (heard this at one of the health professionals...)

Many thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Smoker
Cigarette smoking is responsible for such a wide variety of negative effects in the body, which includes an increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer, that it would be the best thing for your health to stop smoking as soon as possible. Although cigarette smoking does not increase cholesterol levels per se, the combination of your high cholesterol levels and the influence of the free radicals caused by the cigarette smoke can lead to damage of the blood vessel walls and deposition of cholesterol inside the blood vessels, narrowing them and making you more vulnerable to heart attacks. Sugar and other simple carbohydrates can be metabolised in the body to form fats if eaten in excess, so it is important to either cut out all sugar to restrict your sugar intake to small quantities (1-2 t per day). If you have high blood cholesterol and triglyceride values then I would recommend that you consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), to work out an individual diet prescription for you that helps to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Do try to stop smoking for your health's sake.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/03/29

Dear Smoker
Cigarette smoking is responsible for such a wide variety of negative effects in the body, which includes an increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer, that it would be the best thing for your health to stop smoking as soon as possible. Although cigarette smoking does not increase cholesterol levels per se, the combination of your high cholesterol levels and the influence of the free radicals caused by the cigarette smoke can lead to damage of the blood vessel walls and deposition of cholesterol inside the blood vessels, narrowing them and making you more vulnerable to heart attacks. Sugar and other simple carbohydrates can be metabolised in the body to form fats if eaten in excess, so it is important to either cut out all sugar to restrict your sugar intake to small quantities (1-2 t per day). If you have high blood cholesterol and triglyceride values then I would recommend that you consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), to work out an individual diet prescription for you that helps to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Do try to stop smoking for your health's sake.
Best regards
DietDoc

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