Cholesterol is important for the body to perform certain functions. However, excess of cholesterol ends up as fat deposits in the internal organs leading to increase in the risk of heart disease.
Routine blood test done after fasting of 9 - 12 hours will reveal the total blood cholesterol level, including good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels.
In addition, other factors which affect the desirable level of cholesterol include age, smoking, high blood pressure and family history of cholesterol disorder.
There are certain fasting tips to be followed in order to get accurate readings. Try and schedule the tests early in the morning and have an early dinner at 6 or 7 pm the previous day. You may drink water while fasting. Coffee may be allowed for some people but consult your doctor whether it is fine to drink. If possible, avoid it until the blood sample is drawn in the morning.
You also need to watch out the diet you are consuming the previous week if you have an advance notice. Consume a normal routine diet and do not alter it too much so that you have an accurate idea of what is your cholesterol level during your usual diet routine. Avoid excess consumption of eggs, red meat, high cholesterol and high fat content food items if they are not a part of your routine.
People who have crossed 20 years of age are recommended to check for cholesterol levels every 5 years to monitor for any abnormalities especially if there is a family history of elder people having high cholesterol levels.
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