How Smoking Affects Nutrition

Everyone knows smoking is bad for health. It causes cancer and heart disease to name a few maladies. Everyone can tell you that. If you’re a smoker, you should quit.

But if you are having a hard time and you can’t quite stop, there are a few things you should know so you can to counteract the negative effects of you addiction.

Smoking and Cholesterol

The nicotine in cigarettes increases LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL cholesterol (the good) in your bloodstream. Diet also has a big impact on your cholesterol levels, so if you are a smoker, you need to be doubly careful about your intake of saturated fats and trans-fats.

Smoking and Bone health

Studies over the last few decades have shown that smokers have a lower bone density and higher risk for osteoporosis. The exact chemistry has yet to be explained. If you’re a smoker – make sure you get enough calcium in your diet..

Smoking and Vitamin C

Smoking literally sucks the vitamin C from your body’s tissues.Whereas vitamin C is an antioxidant, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are oxidants. So vitamin C, instead of bonding with free radicals in the body and removing them, bonds with the chemicals from the smoke. Smokers therefore need a much higher level of vitamin C and in general much more antioxidants in their body. So if you’re a pack a day person – make sure you’re getting ample fruits and vegetables in your diet as well.

Smoking and Weight Loss

Nicotine has been shown to be an appetite suppressant, but if you think smoking is the way to stay thin, you’re thinking very short term. The damage you are doing to your body by smoking far outweighs the few pounds not gained.

To summarize, quit smoking ASAP. Until you do, be on top of your game nutritionally.

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  • Jim

    You ought to give a reference for these claims since they are so surprising.

  • carol

    Note that just being around smokers can have serious health effects as well. As for the ability of antioxidants (particularly beta carotene and vitamin E) to provide anti-cancer benefits to smokers, there is a lot of conflicting information/research, and some of it points to deleterious effects (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00712647). Complicated topic with no easy answers… but getting nutrients from foods rather than supplements is certainly a good choice.

  • carol

    Note that just being around smokers can have serious health effects as well. As for the ability of antioxidants (particularly beta carotene and vitamin E) to provide anti-cancer benefits to smokers, there is a lot of conflicting information/research, and some of it points to deleterious effects (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00712647). Complicated topic with no easy answers… but getting nutrients from foods rather than supplements is certainly a good choice.

  • carol

    The link to the CARET clinical trial didn’t show properly. Let’s try again:
    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00712647 (or go to clinicaltrials.gov and search on “CARET”)

  • carol

    The link to the CARET clinical trial didn’t show properly. Let’s try again:
    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00712647 (or go to clinicaltrials.gov and search on “CARET”)

  • carol

    The link to the CARET clinical trial didn’t show properly. Let’s try again:
    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00712647 (or go to clinicaltrials.gov and search on “CARET”)

  • SmokeEmIfYouGotEm

    Smoking has its risks. Impaired nutritional behavior is certainly not one of them. In fact, women who quit smoking invariably grow fat. And “we all know” fat people are put on this earth to be despised and regulated, just like smokers. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Might as we do whatever pleases you and to hell with preachy foodies.

  • VanessaElizebeth

    Most people find it hard to quit smoking.Quitting can be hard,but is not impossible.Many people like you have quit smoking.etechnology.in