What to Eat the Night Before a Cholesterol Test?

Jul 03, 2024 | 2 min read

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Eating the right foods before a cholesterol test is essential for accurate results. Focus on consuming high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and staying hydrated. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods to ensure your test reflects your true cholesterol levels.

What is a Cholesterol Test and Why is it Important?

A cholesterol test, also known as a lipid panel or lipid profile, measures the levels of different types of cholesterol in your blood. This test is important because it helps assess your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Understanding your cholesterol levels can help you and your healthcare provider make informed decisions about your diet, lifestyle, and possibly medication to maintain or improve your heart health. Regular cholesterol testing is recommended as part of routine health check-ups, especially for adults over the age of 20.

What to Eat the Night Before a Cholesterol Test

Diet plays a crucial role in cholesterol levels, especially before a cholesterol test. Knowing what to eat the night before a cholesterol test can ensure accurate results and a true reflection of your cholesterol levels.

Healthy Foods to Eat:

  • Oats: High in fiber, can lower bad cholesterol.
  • Fruits: Especially apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits, which are rich in pectin.
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, carrots, and bell peppers.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

Balanced Meals:

  • Grilled chicken with steamed vegetables: Lean protein with fiber-rich veggies.
  • Quinoa salad with mixed greens and beans: Balanced nutrients from grains, greens, and legumes.


  • Drink plenty of water: Staying well-hydrated helps your body function optimally.
  • Proper hydration can ensure that your blood sample is as clear as possible, positively impacting the test results.

What Not to Eat the Night Before a Cholesterol Test?

Avoiding certain foods the night before a cholesterol test is crucial for accurate results. Understanding what not to eat the night before a cholesterol test can help prevent false spikes in cholesterol levels.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Fried foods: Such as fried chicken or fries.
  • Fatty meats: Like bacon and sausages.
  • Processed snacks: Including chips and crackers.

High-fat and Sugary Foods:

  • High-fat foods: Butter, cheese, and full-fat dairy products.
  • Sugary foods: Desserts, candies, and soda.

Alcohol and Caffeine:

  • Alcohol: Can raise cholesterol levels.
  • Caffeine: Can impact lipid metabolism.

How Else to Prepare for the Cholesterol Test?

Preparing for a cholesterol test involves more than just dietary changes. Understanding how else to prepare for the cholesterol test can ensure you get the most accurate results.

  • Get Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep the night before. Good sleep can stabilize your cholesterol levels and help ensure accurate results.
  • Avoid Strenuous Exercise: Engage in light activities only. Avoid strenuous exercise 24 hours before the test as it can temporarily alter cholesterol levels.
  • Medication and Supplements: Discuss any medications or supplements you're taking with your doctor. Some medications can affect cholesterol levels, and your doctor might advise adjustments before the test.
  • Fasting Guidelines: Typically, an 8-12 hour fast is required, as per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommendation. Ensure you follow the fasting guidelines provided by your healthcare provider for the most accurate results.

Practical Tips and Myths

Preparing properly for a cholesterol test involves understanding practical tips and dispelling common myths.

Practical Tips:

  • Stay Calm: Stress can affect cholesterol levels. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
  • Schedule Wisely: Plan your test for early morning to make fasting easier.
  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Ensures a smooth experience during the blood draw.
  • Bring Water: Stay hydrated, but avoid drinking anything else before the test.


  • Fasting is unnecessary: While some tests may not require fasting, many cholesterol tests do for accurate results.
  • Eating certain foods just before the test can improve results: Sudden changes in diet will not significantly impact your cholesterol levels overnight.
  • Only overweight people need to worry about cholesterol: Cholesterol issues can affect anyone, regardless of weight.
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