Cholesterol test is a thorough screening of cholesterol and triglyceride concentration inside the body. Healthy adults who aren’t having any cardiovascular problems need to undergo this test at least once every five years. Normally, fasting is required before conducting the test. 10 to 12 hours before undergoing the test, patients are required to avoid all foods and drinks, except water. However, recent studies show that although there is indeed a difference in test result between patients who fast and those who don’t fast, such difference is not very significant. This raises a question of whether fasting is required or not. And if fasting is not required, patients should know what kinds of food they can eat before undergoing the test and what kinds of food they should avoid.
What Should I Eat before Cholesterol Test
The cholesterol test is intended to provide accurate assessment of patients’ risk of developing heart disease. The most accurate result is obtained when the test is conducted on patients who are in their normal bodily state. This means that at least a week prior to the test, they should not try to improve their diet just because they want to undergo the test. They should eat foods that they usually eat and drink beverages that they usually drink. In a nutshell, they have to behave normally as they usually do prior to the test to make sure that the result of the test accurately reflects the big picture of their cardiovascular condition. Fasting is required only during the 10 to 12 hours-period prior to the test. This is required only if they expect accurate result from the test. There is only slight difference in test result between patients who fast and those who don’t fast, but this slight difference is considered substantial if 100% accuracy of the test result is expected.
What Should I Avoid before Cholesterol Test
People who undergo cholesterol test are people who are aware of their cardiovascular health. People as such are ready to avoid most foods and drinks that may significantly worsen the condition of their heart and blood vessels. During the test, there are three components of the lipid profile that will be tested: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Patients should try to avoid all foods and drinks that may cause unnecessary boost to the level of those components. Among foods and drinks with such characteristic that you should avoid are listed as follows.
1. Foods and drinks with excessive amount of sugar, calorie and fat
Triglycerides are very sensitive to sweets and foods that are rich in calorie and fat. If you are aware of your cardiovascular health, you should avoid those foods. If you have been used to avoiding those foods, don’t eat them before you undergo the test because triglyceride’s sensitivity to the content of those foods may render the test result inaccurate.
2. Foods that are rich in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
Those foods may boost your cholesterol level. If you are aware of your health, you should avoid those foods. If you don’t normally consume them, don’t consume them prior to the test doing so may also result in inaccurate test result.
Triglycerides are also sensitive to alcohol. You should avoid drinking it 24 hours before you undergo the test. Wine, which is an alcoholic beverage, may also boost the level of high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. Try to avoid drinking alcoholic beverage before you undergo the test.
Those three groups of foods and drinks should be avoided not only because they improve your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but also because they may significantly affect the result of cholesterol test. Even patients who don’t want to fast prior to the test are not recommended to consume those foods because of the significant alteration they can cause to the test result.
Why Is Test Accuracy Regarded as Important?
We have discussed about how the test should provide accurate result, but why is accuracy considered important? When patients undergo cholesterol test, the result of the test will be an important record that determines the subsequent medical treatment that they should undergo. Their doctor will provide them with medical treatment according to the result of the test. If the result is inaccurate because the blood is obtained when it is contaminated by the content of the aforementioned foods, the doctor may prescribe unnecessary treatment to them. This is the biggest risk that inaccurate cholesterol test result may pose. To avoid such risk, ensuring the accuracy of the test result by behaving normally prior to the test and by trying to avoid foods and drinks that may render the result inaccurate is considered important. Consult your doctor if you want to learn more about all food-related issues before you undergo the test.