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Fasting Helps Pinpoint Need to Reduce Cholesterol
It's that time of year again when you go for your annual physical and to have your cholesterol checked to see if you are one of millions of Americans who still need to reduce cholesterol. Hopefully your doctor's office remembered to tell you to fast for at least 12-14 hours before having this important blood test to determine your cholesterol levels.
Fasting, or consuming no calories, is important in cholesterol testing to be sure that the numbers are accurate. This is because food - especially food containing fat - has high levels of triglycerides. This fat is one that is measured and then used in a calculation to see if you need to reduce cholesterol. The triglycerides are only used to calculate LDL cholesterol. You do not need to fast when only total cholesterol or HDL (the good cholesterol) is being measured since food consumed throughout the day does not directly affect the numbers.
It is important when preparing for a fasting cholesterol test that you still drink plenty of water. Water helps get the triglycerides from food out of the body before the test. Generally, all of this is removed from the body within 12 hours anyway, but water keeps you hydrated while fasting and cleanses the body even better.
There is an exception to how fasting impacts cholesterol testing. If triglycerides are greater than 400, then they cannot be used to calculate LDL cholesterol. In this case LDL would have to be measured on its own.
Sometimes test results can be grossly inaccurate. Usually an error - one that shows a huge increase in cholesterol when it was at a good level within the last year - is the result of a test error. The way to know for sure if you need to reduce cholesterol is to take the test again. If the numbers are more than 30 point apart, a third test should be taken. If they are closer than 30 points, an average should be used.
If the final results of your tests indicate a need to reduce cholesterol you can do it in an all natural way, without the risk of side effects from prescription medications. To learn more, get The 60-Day Prescription Free Cholesterol Cure.
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