5 Diet Mistakes People with High Cholesterol Make

5 Diet Mistakes People with High Cholesterol Make

Last update: 30 May, 2022

People with high cholesterol are aware of the importance of diet when it comes to controlling their condition. However, due to the fact that people simply don’t know or they’ve been poorly informed, some make dietary mistakes that mean their efforts are made in vain.

It can be very frustrating, since you may not be able to reduce your cholesterol to normal levels no matter what you eat or what medication you take. The most concerning thing of all is that you may be even making the problem worse.

That’s why you must find out what mistakes you’re making and why; even if they seem harmless, they can be damaging. Below you can find out about the 5 most common mistakes people with high cholesterol make. This way you can start taking control of this problem intelligently.

Diet mistakes that make it difficult to control your cholesterol

Anybody who has been diagnosed with high cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia should follow the dietary advice their doctor gives them. Even if that means drastic changes in their daily diet. This is essential if you want to prevent more serious problems.

close up image of a vein artist's interpretation

However, following an appropriate diet isn’t just about eating more fruit and vegetables. While you may be unaware, there are other significant changes you should make. In fact, these can even vary from person to person, since each body and situation is different.

Do you think you may be making mistakes in your eating habits? Are you having trouble regulating your levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)? If so, then continue reading to find out if you’re missing the mark when it comes to diet!

1. Ignoring sugar in your diet in hopes to reduce high cholesterol

Sugar consumption doesn’t have a direct effect on cholesterol levels in your body. However, foods high in sugar – like desserts, pastries, sodas, etc. – are also often also high in harmful fats, like trans or saturated fat.

As such, eating these types of food on regular basis can make you gain weight. Being overweight or obese is very closely linked to high cholesterol. The high glycemic index of these foods elevates your blood sugar, something that damages artery walls over time.

an array of donuts

2. Only paying attention to foods with cholesterol

Some people with high cholesterol think that eating better means cutting out any food that’s high in cholesterol. Well, that’s definitely something you should do, but it’s a mistake to concentrate just on this.

Cholesterol is a fatty component that comes from eating certain foods, and from endogenous synthesis. Therefore, eating less of it isn’t a complete fix. You also need to avoid sources of trans fat and saturated fat because they can overload your liver.

3. Cutting out all fat from your diet in hopes to reduce high cholesterol

Cutting out all fat from your diet (including healthy fats, like olive oil) is perhaps one of the most common mistakes people with cholesterol problems make.

Instead of drastically cutting out all sources of fat, it’s better to learn to choose more beneficial sources.

Food contains a mix of different types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated (omega 3 and 6). Out of these, you want to consume as little saturated fat as possible and increase your consumption of good fat.

Saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease, while unsaturated fat helps increase good cholesterol (HDL). This, in turn, helps prevent coronary illnesses or heart attacks. your arteries.

Some examples of good fat are avocado, olive oil, and nuts. Also, specialists recommend foods that include natural such as oats and pulses.

You may also be interested in: Tips to Increase Good Cholesterol

4. Going from one miracle diet to another

Miracle diets sound like a shortcut to healthy cholesterol levels, given that they help to reduce your weight. The problem with these diet plans is that they’re restrictive or they limit you to only certain categories of nutrients. They can also be a risk to your health.

That’s exactly why many of those who see quick results end up falling off the wagon a few weeks later. Although they lose weight and drop a few sizes, they later return to their original eating habits and waste all the effort they put in.

However, a good diet for lowering your cholesterol should be a permanent thing. If it only works for a few days, you’ll be back to your high levels and higher weight in no time.

5. Taking statins with grapefruit juice

Doctors often prescribe statins to reduce their patients’ high cholesterol. However, consuming grapefruit at the same time is a dietary mistake that can keep the medication from being absorbed properly. Although it’s a healthy, low-calorie drink, it’s not a good idea if you’re on statins.

If you’re in doubt, consult a nutritionist

It’s important to correct your dietary mistakes so that your treatment plan to reduce cholesterol will work. Similarly, you should also get regular check-ups. Your doctor needs to approve any diet changes and in no case should you stop your treatment.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • De Andrés, S., Lucena, A., & De Juana, P. (2004, July). Interacciones entre los alimentos y las estatinas. Nutricion Hospitalaria.
  • Ma, H. (2006). Cholesterol and Human Health. Nature and Science.
  • Scirica, B. M. (2005). Treatment of Elevated Cholesterol. Circulation.
  • Schaefer, E. J. (2002). Lipoproteins, nutrition, and heart disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  • Verschuren, W. M. M. (2012). Diet and cardiovascular disease. Current Cardiology Reports.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.