Video transcription

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic and I'm going to talk to you about how to fast before a blood cholesterol test. Typically the only thing that the lab will ask you to do is to make sure that you don't have anything to eat or drink for twelve hours before they're going to do the blood draw for cholesterol. You can still drink water. Some labs will allow you to also have plain black coffee or tea, but no other types of fluids. No fruit juice, no sodas, nothing that has any calories to it. You won't be aloud anything like Powerade or any sports drinks. Absolutely no solid food for the twelve hours prior to your cholesterol test. There isn't a requirement as far as modifying your diet any time up to that. For example: in the week before hand, you don't have to change your diet in any kind of way, typically it's better if you don't. It's better if you follow your normal eating habits, that way you get a more accurate indicator of how your cholesterol is doing. In some people, cholesterol is very much affected by their diet, so for example, if they're eating a lot of saturated fats, whether that's from things like bacon or fried chicken or a lot of cheese, or those types of things, it will show up in their cholesterol test and their cholesterol, their LDL cholesterol will be elevated. By the same token, if somebody modifies their diet and starts eating a lot of high fiber foods and they normally don't do that, say for example, they know they have their cholesterol test coming up, so they really start eating a lot of oatmeal and reducing any of their fried foods, eating a lot more vegetables. A lot of times that will show up as well, and their cholesterol levels will be lower. So, the best thing to do is follow your normal diet and then twelve hours before you're scheduled to have your blood drawn, you're fasting, drinking only water. That will give your doctor the best indicator of how your cholesterol truly is and then you will know if you truly need to make any diet modifications or not. So, those are just a few tips on how to fast for a blood cholesterol test.