Should I be worried about a cholesterol reading of 6.2?

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My cholesterol test came back with 6.2, HDL 2.8 and LDL 3.6. I am a 58 year old female who is notoverweight, does exercise 5 times a week (running, gym, swimming, tennis), has excellent blood pressure and eats a very balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg but which is perhaps a bit high in fat. Do you think altering my diet by changing to skimmed milk, low fat spread instead of butter, etc. will make any difference?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Your actual cholesterol reading is extremely good if you look at it individually. HDL is ' good cholesterol ' and a level of 2.8 is great. LDL so called 'bad cholesterol' is 3.6 nothing at all to worry about.

    Unfortunately so much scare mongering going on regarding cholesterol that your combined total makes you worry and gives doctors the excuse to write prescriptions for statin medication or advise you on diet etc.

    Whatever you do please don't eat ANY low fat foods especially ' lowering cholesterol spreads' all low fat foods contain so much sugar, the food industry add sugar and carbs to replace the fat and that's not healthy.

    What you are currently eating is absolutely fine, especially fat, although make sure it's saturated fat, not trans fats, don't cook with so called healthy oils like vegetable oil etc use goose or duck fat, even old fashioned lard is best.

    Eat full fat cheese, butter, milk, cut down on carb intake as well as sugar and continue with your healthy way of living, exercise as you normally do.

    I've probably astounded you with my recommendations but I assure you there have been 100's of studies that show that saturated fat is not evil and that so called healthy low fat eating is.

    I'm happy to point you in the direction of any literature that will substantiate what statements I've made here, can I also say if you search the internet for " the great cholesterol myth" or " the cholesterol con" titles of excellent books that explain exactly where this misleading cholesterol causes heart disease rubbish came from.

    I'm unsure if your medical professional has raised concerns regarding your cholesterol results? If they have what worries do they have?

    Hope I've helped in some way and I apologise for rambling.

    • Posted

      this sounds interesting, could you please point me in the direction of some more literature



  • Posted

    Hi Sonya

    Thanks very much for your reply. Yes, I have read some of the information on the internet that you mention. I have been advised to try to reduce the amount of fat in my diet and eat more oily fish and to go back for another blood test in 3 months.

  • Posted

    I agree with Sonya that you should NOT try to reduce fat in your diet (except for trans fats). Instead reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, especially sugar. Eat less of: bread and other grains, potatoes, rice, pasta, corn, and beans. Eat more meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, along with leafy green vegetables, such as salads. And eat fruit only in moderation.
  • Posted


    I'm a little worried that you've been advised to reduce your fat intake, did they say which fat?

    I hope it wasn't saturated fat?.

    This kind of advice worries me because it gives patients the go ahead to eat low fat products and that's one of the worst things they could do.

    Just be aware and please don't fall in to the low fat trap

  • Posted

    Hi Grossy,

    Just returned from getting the results of my cholesterol check. I was told that my total cholesterol was 6.2 which gave a ratio of Total/HDL as 5 and that the ratio regarded as OK is 4.5. Your ratio would appear to be 2.21 which seems to be well under the 4.5.

    More importantly, perhaps, I am 68 and lead the same sort of exercise regime as yourself; full gym work out plus 3 mile run - 3/4 times a week, mini workout plus Racketball/Squash twice a week and golf course once a week. I also have a good varied diet but I do drink around 30 units, mostly beer or wine, a week.

    Three or four years ago after a routine blood test, my Doctor prescribed statins because my total was around 7.0 but I had excellent blood pressure, resting pulse of 47 and a BMI of 26/27. The medication stopped my exercise in its tracks with muscular and gut side effects. Doc tried various types of statin with no difference. We talked about diet but he admitted that diet made only a 5% contribution to the cholesterol level. I thought the problem was more likely due to pressure of work and the fairly busy life I was leading at the time - they call it stress these days but it can raise cholesterol levels! We eventually agreed no medication and to monitor every 6 months. In Oct 12, it went out to 12 months - hence the latest test. My only change in diet was to switch more to oat meal bread because of its alleged effect on cholesterol levels but actually I do find it more tasty. However, my work diary has reduced quite a lot.

    Like many here, I would be careful about positively moving to a low fat diet given the exercise you take, that you don't have a weight problem and assuming that your blood pressure, resting pulse and recovery rate are all OK. Apart from anything else, I am convinced that it is a balanced, fat inclusive diet which keeps my joints working properly and my exercise painfree.

    Apart from the debatable issues around of fat, I have also found that the latest one size fits all mantra regarding salt is also highly debiliating if you have an exercise regime which is in anyway demanding and makes you sweat! I know family, colleagues at the gym and health professionals who have a similar experience and most take salt supplement drinks, like electrolade, to stop the cramps after a vigorous exercise session. Certainly, when on active service in the Far East in the 60s we took salt tablets to combat the same problems of working hard in the heat and felt better for it.

    To answer your question, I think you have little to worry about from what you say. Take a look at any external influences on the pace and concerns you have in your life it may be a contributor. Weigh those up against the absence of any other signs which show you may be at risk. Also remember that the NHS does the same but it also factors in your age without any consideration of your actual lifestyle - one size fits all. While age may be a contributor, only you know how much you mitigate against that with your lifestyle. In your case the latter sounds good to me!

    Hope that helps.

  • Posted

    Hi Adastra

    Thanks for your very comprehensive reply. My resting pulse is 52, my blood pressure 110/60 and my BMI is just under 25. I am beginning to think that I'm fine as I am and I will just be sensible with what I eat. I drink too much too!

  • Posted

     Increase intake of salad and fruits it will help you to maintain your weight at constant range of cholestrol too.
    • Posted

      I agree salad is good but not to much fruit as it contains lots of sugar.

      best healthy diet info I found is low carb, weight loss is fantastic and triglyceride level drops.

  • Posted

    My Cholesterol is 6.2 and the HDL is 1.87 and the LDL is 3.78 can you tell me what this means - is it good or is it bad. My Doctor has taken me off statins for 6 weeks.
  • Posted

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  • Posted

    I suffer with AF but my cholesterol is at 3.2. being in a wheelchair due to car accident in1970, it is difficult to evercise, but I'm no slouch either I doint consider this bad, I take bisoprolol, atorvastin and pradaxa. I eat sensibly and do use a low fat spread. I would love to get off pills altogether.

    I think that changing to skimmed milk makes a difference and not having cream or butter manked a difference

  • Posted

    Hi I've been given a total cholesterol reading of 6.2 , good cholesterol 2.0. ratio 3.1. body mass 23. I'm almost 72  and though I dont go to the gym or work out I walk briskly about 25 miles per week, my blood pressure is normal, I eat healthily, however I do love toffee and I drink a couple of bottles of wine over the weekend. I feel fine but now the healthy heart check nurse says I should go on Statins which Ive fread some bad press about, can anybody advise me what to do as hate taking tablets especially if they're not necessary and IS my cholesterol high?

  • Posted

    Hi I have been doing HFLC  diet for about a year. Keeping to about 50g carbs a day.

    My routine lipid test has been sent to me with  a sad face written on it.

    A pamphlet attached advising me to change my diet.  I excersises for an hour three times a week walk the beach daily. I am so confused as to what to do about my diet now. Results as follows should o be concerned and what would you advise.

    Cholesterol   7.2mmo/L

    Triglyceride.  0.7mmol/L

    HDL cholesterol  2.29mmo/

    LDL chol cal.           4.6?mmol/L

    Total chol ratio 3.1

  • Posted

    hello Grossy,

    I know this is an old post but I am shocked to see these recommendations for you to increase fat intake or not to eat much fruit. As a healthcare professional with no interest in steering you towards anything but a healthy evidence based diet plan- do not eat more saturated fat. There is decades of solid evidence linking saturated fats to heart disease. Also consume all the fruit you would like! The sugars contained in fruits are not "added sugars" but are processed very well by our bodies. Try to eat as much plant based whole foods- not processed foods- as you can. If you add meat or other saturated fats do so sparingly and as garnish. Remember that chicken breast may seem low fat but it is injected with salt water to increase weight and has more sodium than you would think.

    But you sound like you were and I am sure still are doing excellent health wise and keep up the good work. Please turn to Registered Dietitians and health care professionals for nutritional advice because all of the diet fads are dangerous and usually misleading.

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