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Question
Posted by: Mary | 2012/09/10

Sugar and Cholesterol

Dear DIetdoc,

Thank you for such a useful and informative space!!!

I wonder if you could assist me in understanding a couple of things. My husband (32) and I (29) are actually quite healthy and fit with my husband running 5-10km at a very decent pace 4-5 times a week and we generally eat a healthy blanaced diet. We both however have sugar and cholesterol issues in my family (though ours are tested often and are normal). Added to this my husband likes to indulge in KFC (of all things) with a frequency that I highly disapprove of! :) Probably once a week sometimes a bit more.

Anyway - my lay understanding of the sugar issue is that even when you''re young and your sugar levels are normal - repeated abuse of the system by causing rapid peaks and troughs in sugar levels causes insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes - is that right?

In regard to cholesterol then - my husband argues that he''s young and his cholesterol levels are fine and because he''s fit it shouldn''t be a problem - is this accurate or does a similar thing of repeated abuse early on impact your ability to manage your cholesterol later in life? I hope that makes sense?? I want to argue to him that he can''t just eat nasty fast food all the time even in his healthy youth! :)

I find nutrition fascinating! Thanks in advance!

Mary

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Mary
Thank you for your kind words. There are a variety of factors that play a role when it comes to the development of the so-called degenerative diseases of lifestyle such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD), namely genetic predisposition, ageing, physical inactivity, inappropriate diets, obesity, lack of physical exercise, stress, etc. In your case there appears to be a genetic tendency to develop heart disease and/or diabetes, but other factors such as physical exercise, use of a balanced diet, youth, and normal blood values, are all positive and normal. This is not to say that your genetic dispositions will not cause raised blood cholesterol levels as you age no matter what you eat. If you are interested in finding out if you and hubby are individuals who can control their cholesterol levels by means of diet alone or if you require the use of medications such as statins, you can have genetic tests done by organisations such as DNAlysis (check on www.dnalysis.co.za). In the meanwhile, it may be counterproductive to nag hubby about 'eating nasty fast food all the time' when he only indulges now and then. Rather support each other to maintain your fitness and to basically eat a well balanced diet. If you click on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page you will be able to read about most aspects of nutrition, particularly if you click on 'You are what you eat' and read the 'Healthy Heart' section. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/09/11

Dear Mary
Thank you for your kind words. There are a variety of factors that play a role when it comes to the development of the so-called degenerative diseases of lifestyle such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD), namely genetic predisposition, ageing, physical inactivity, inappropriate diets, obesity, lack of physical exercise, stress, etc. In your case there appears to be a genetic tendency to develop heart disease and/or diabetes, but other factors such as physical exercise, use of a balanced diet, youth, and normal blood values, are all positive and normal. This is not to say that your genetic dispositions will not cause raised blood cholesterol levels as you age no matter what you eat. If you are interested in finding out if you and hubby are individuals who can control their cholesterol levels by means of diet alone or if you require the use of medications such as statins, you can have genetic tests done by organisations such as DNAlysis (check on www.dnalysis.co.za). In the meanwhile, it may be counterproductive to nag hubby about 'eating nasty fast food all the time' when he only indulges now and then. Rather support each other to maintain your fitness and to basically eat a well balanced diet. If you click on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page you will be able to read about most aspects of nutrition, particularly if you click on 'You are what you eat' and read the 'Healthy Heart' section. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Best regards
DietDoc

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