High cholesterol or not?: Just had some... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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High cholesterol or not?

Kathyboard1 profile image
14 Replies

Just had some results back and some readings are showing a red flag. I'm very active and have a healthy low-carb diet. Should I be worried and Contact my gp? This was a private test through benenden. Thanks.

14 Replies
andy121 profile image

Hi, your LDL which is the bad fat that lays in your artaries is high that number has to be the lowest you can get it, 3 is average I believe. I would contact your gp so he/she is aware and possibly treat with statins.

I've just gone through the same thing which I can't believe as I'm active, not overweight and diet not bad.

Maybe someone else will be along soon to better explain then I did.

Hope this helps.

How long have you been on a low carb diet and are you losing weight? It is known that in the initial months of low carb, a temporal spike in cholesterol can happen. Once your body adjusts to ketones for fuel and your weight stabilises, it may well return to lower levels.

I had a similar thing happen 4 months into keto, but have not had another cholesterol panel yet.

High LDL isn't necessarily bad, it's sdLDL which is bad and the standard test doesn't measure that. Other studies have found Trigs/HDL tends to correlate with sdLDL but there is some discussion over what a good number is. Some say less than 1, some say a bit lower. Your ratio is looking good.

I'd also recommend checking out Dave Feldman on YouTube and his "lean mass hyper responders".

I hope this is some help.

Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to

Thankyou, I have been low carb for 2 years, initially lost 10 pounds, just maintaining now. Thanks I will watch the video

As a general rule for those without a pre-existing heart diagnosis, the generally accepted levels are:

Total cholesterol: less than 5

HDL: above 1

LDL: less than 3

Trigs: below 2.3 if non-fasting test, below 1.7 if fasting

Ratio: less than 6

On that basis, your total cholesterol is high, as is your LDL, and it would definitely be worth having a conversation with your GP to see what they think.

Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to

Thanks for your reply, my gp said the results are absolutely fine, I'm somewhat relieved.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Kathyboard1


Heart UK the cholesterol charity has this information.


Did you GP say why they thought your results were okay?

Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to Milkfairy

Just said my blood pressure and weight are fine I don't drink or smoke, and the ratio is fine. I was a bit confused but didn't argue. I am eating less double cream and full fat greek yogurt though, just in case.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Kathyboard1

The National Institute of Healthcare Excellence NICE recommends that your GP completes a qrisk score.

Here's a link where you can complete one for yourself.

Maybe try the diets recommended on the BHF and Heart UK website and ask for your Cholesterol to be checked by your GP in a few months?


Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to Milkfairy

Thanks I will do that

Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to Milkfairy

Thanks my risk is 1.9% .

in reply to Kathyboard1

I’m with Milkfairy in perhaps being a little bit cautious with the ‘they’re fine’ verdict. Your levels are not within normal, and whilst other factors like weight and bp are relevant for working out your likely cardiac risk, it’s not set in stone. There are plenty of extremely fit and active people here that have been stunned by major heart attacks: cholesterol is not the only marker of potential problems, but it is a very relevant one. That said, though, if you’re eating quite a bit of saturated fat like cream/yogurt/dairy generally, or other sources like red and processed meats, cutting that down may well result in an improvement in your cholesterol figures. The NHS currently recommends no more than 20g of saturated fat a day for women.

Kathyboard1 profile image
Kathyboard1 in reply to

Thanks, I have decided to cut down on saturated fat regardless of what the gp said, I'm now on 10g or less a day. I have seen a cardiologist last year and wore a 7 day monitor had all the tests and nothing was found, although my hr rises spontaneously now and again and still scares me. They said probably hormones or anxiety. I have never had anxiety so I've convinced myself it's menopausal. I want my cholesterol checked in a few months but not sure if you can just request that from my gp. But I think a home test kit with lloyds pharmacy costs about £50 so I will do that for reassurance. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

Smellymjk profile image

100% see someone one ASAP!! If you have benenden cover try and see a cardiologist! I was fit asa fiddle and very healthy but family history meant high LDL.

Legs profile image

I don’t want to worry you but your Lipids are similar to what mine had been for several years before I first started suffering with AF, finally diagnosed in 2016 (aged 49), then a mild heart attack last August, despite being slim and otherwise fit and very active. I have always suffered with mild breathing difficulties and chest/rib pains so hopefully that’s not the case for you? Turns out my issues were caused by very high inherited LP(a) levels that diet can do little about, though too much alcohol probably caused the AF. Please do get more checks to rule out anything sinister and best of luck!

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