Fasting to be done before taking blood samples is not of one kind alone. Some cholesterol tests also called lipid panels or lipid profiles may require you to fast for 8 hours or more as per their requirement. You must ask your doctor clearly if you can take black coffee or other beverages during your fasting period. Some tests don’t require any fasting at all.
Fasting Before A Cholestrol Test
Doctors often ask their patients to observe a fast before drawing their blood. Blood tests often require about 12hrs of fasting. This is to get exact results which are not possible if you have anything other than water before certain hours of the test.
To get baseline results which is free from extra nutrients or extra sugar levels from foods you have had before the test, they ask you to fast.
How And Why A Cholestrol Test Is Done?
A cholesterol test requires some blood to be drawn from your veins. This is usually done through your arm after folding a band tightly around your arm. This slows down the flow of blood in your arm below the band. The doctor can see the veins appearing larger. And they can insert the needle through the enlarged veins with slowed blood flow.
Choosing to fast or skipping it as per your doctor’s suggestion
Your doctor is the best person to give you the final word on whether you should fast or take the test regardless of your meals. It is necessary that you make a note of what they say as they mention taking a cholesterol test to you. If you have certain foods or beverages that you take every day, you might do better to ask if it is okay if you take them. You might mention if you take your tea with sugar, sip some wine before bedtime or smoke before sleep, etc. to avoid affecting your test results.
Seeing why eating something affects your cholesterol test results
Water hydrates the veins which also makes it easier to find the veins. That’s why some tests allow drinking water. Your vitamins and mineral supplements are also usually required to be avoided before cholesterol tests. Fasting shows more accurate results as opposed to after eating as it does not send any new nutrients to your blood.
Learn how your regular diet or binge eating affects your reading
Some foods might cause your reading to appear too high if you have them regularly. If you have cheese-filled foods every day and give a test, it will likely show a high cholesterol level despite fasting. Because excessive or regular consumption of foods with saturated fat usually leaves its mark in cholesterol tests. Cholesterol is affected more with certain foods due to its regular consumption.
Avoiding some foods that may affect your final test reading
Some foods have a long-lasting impact on your cholesterol level than others. Having these foods once in a week or so may not impact your reading. However, having them daily like egg yolk, full-fat dairy, organ meat that are high in cholesterol may not be wise. Avoid having foods with trans fat like fries, crackers, and packed baked items, almost daily.
Learning how cholesterol collects in the body over the years
Your cholesterol level should show below 200mg/dL where mg stands for milligrams and dL stands for deciliter. The range depends upon your weight, fat in the diet, and cholesterol presents both from bodily production and consumption of foods with cholesterol in it. If are active and lead a healthy life, there is a high chance of your cholesterol level not going above normal. Anything above that might be harmful to your body.
Having food or breaking the fast once the test is over
You are often free to eat to your delight once your blood is drawn or cholesterol test is done. It is suggested that you eat in moderation, starting with smaller portions after you are done with your tests. Because, after a prolonged duration of fasting and the test, you may experience dizziness. It may get worse if you eat more than smaller portions because the body may quickly raise its metabolism rate.
It is extremely important to be a little active in life so as you age, your body doesn’t have stored cholesterol that is not getting used up. Added cholesterol can cause buildup in your arteries and lead to many heart or coronary diseases. Once it happens, you need to make a number of adjustments that require a lot more effort than required to lead an active life. Hence, it is best to curb it and watch for any symptoms that make you feel it might increase if not taken care of now.