My cholesterol goes up despite healthy eating and exercise. Why?

Q. How can I lower my raised cholesterol levels?

Answered by
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 31, 2023

Hi doctor,

I recently had a full blood count done and would like a second opinion on the results. It was my cholesterol which surprised me. I have never suffered from high cholesterol but over the past three years, it has kept up and recent tests showed:

  1. Serum cholesterol -270.27 mg/dL
  2. HDL - 48.26 mg/dL.
  3. LDL - 195.75 mg/dL.
  4. Triglycerides 132.74 mg/dL.

This surprised me as my cholesterol two years ago was 193.05 mg/dL and I gave up all meat four years ago.

I am 45 years old, eat healthy, and exercise 3 to 4 times a week. I find it weird that my cholesterol has gone up when I have given up meat though there does seem to be a family trait in my mother's side for high cholesterol. I have also been reading a lot recently that views on cholesterol are changing and studies show that it is not directly linked now to saturated fats and heart disease. The other test I wanted to briefly discuss was my liver results. My doctor said they were all fine. I have looked at them and they all do seem to be fine except I noticed my Bilburin level was up a bit to 1.34 mg/dL which sits just outside of the norm. My doctor mentioned nothing about this. Is it a concern?



Welcome to

I can understand your concern. I have gone through the reports you have attached (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Yes, your cholesterol is high especially LDL. This is more worrisome. Cholesterol runs in family. So, despite a healthy lifestyle, some patients fail to reduce cholesterol.

Please let me know your weight, your height, any alcohol habit, are you taking any lipid-lowering drug. Please reply me answers to the above-asked questions, so that I can guide you better. For bilirubin, get done ultrasound abdomen for liver and biliary tract. Please let me know if the ultrasound is already done. I will be happy to help you further.

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much.



Welcome back to

You are welcome. Take care.

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