How Does Fasting & Not Fasting Affect Your Cholesterol Test?

The human body produces a fatty material called cholesterol, which is essential for maintaining proper body functions. Certain foods also contain cholesterol. But, the human body needs a normal level of cholesterol. Increased levels of cholesterol in the human body raise the risk of heart diseases and other health problems.

Every individual must know about their cholesterol level to maintain good health! It is essential to perform the blood test and check the cholesterol level in the blood to prevent chronic health conditions. The doctors advise the patients to prepare for the tests before collecting the blood sample.

How Does Fasting & Not Fasting Affect the Cholesterol Level?

Fasting for 9-12 hours before collecting the blood sample for testing the cholesterol levels is a standard instruction advised by the doctor and as per the experts. Fasting for long hours before the sample collection provides the most accurate results in terms of knowing your cholesterol levels. Recent food consumption raises the Low-Density Lipoproteins- LDL level and triggers the level of Triglycerides in the blood; and this how not fasting affects your cholesterol test.

Fasting for 9-12 hours before blood sample collection gives accurate test results of total cholesterol, protective HDL, harmful LDL and triglycerides and is a standard practice. But, many people don’t like to fast for long hours, and it becomes critical for patients. Certain research eliminated the fasting requirement for certain groups after conducting several tests and studies. The individuals taking statins may not require fasting before the blood test for cholesterol level.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the liver. Consuming certain foods with cholesterol increases the level of cholesterol. The increased level of cholesterol builds up in the arteries walls and hardens to create a blockage. The process called atherosclerosis makes blood flow in the arteries difficult creating pressure on the heart.

It is not necessary to fast before testing TOTAL cholesterol level. But, it is essential to fast for getting the individual values of HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides cholesterol level! The individuals must learn about the reasons for fasting and how the absence of fasting affects the cholesterol level.

The LDL level doesn’t get measured directly from the blood. The experts use the Friedewald equation for calculating the LDL levels collecting the values of the total cholesterol, Triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. Consuming food raises the triglyceride level in the blood by about 20-30%, which affects the total cholesterol level and the outcomes of the equation. Thus, it is necessary to fast before conducting the lipid profile test or triglyceride screening or LDL test.

Fasting Before Performing A Lipid Profile Test Gives Accurate Results!

It is essential to analyze the individual values of the cholesterol test and not only the total cholesterol level! HDL and LDL levels in the cholesterol test are the primary indicators of heart risks. The doctor counts the individual values to interpret the final results and get a better idea about the potential risks. The doctor will be unable to calculate the individual’s cholesterol values if the person fails to fast, which will scale up the risk factors!

In the initial phase, the doctor may recommend for non-fasting cholesterol test to get the total cholesterol value. The doctor may recommend for lipid profile test after the reviewing the results. But, for a lipid profile test, individuals need to fast for around 8-12 hours before the blood test. The lipid profile test will analyze the levels of HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides along with the total cholesterol level in the blood.


The doctors need a clearer view and exact value of the cholesterol tests to determine the effective measures to control the condition of high cholesterol and the risk for heart disease. Thus, fasting before lipid profile testing is essential for proper preparation. The best time for fasting is overnight, and one can easily get prepared for the cholesterol tests in the early morning, which won’t cause any harm.

Remember to keep your body hydrated for controlling the cholesterol level! There are no restrictions for consuming pure water before the tests. Avoid alcohol consumption and other foods with cholesterol to control the cholesterol level in your body and lead a healthy life!

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 12, 2019

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