High Bad Cholesterol (LDL), But No Diabetes

A couple of weeks ago I went to a doctor to get my first full physical in 8 years. I’ve always felt pretty healthy, fat and all. But I’ve secretly been really scared of being diagnosed with diabetes, especially since a few of my family members have it. The results are in!

After waiting for my blood work results I was told that I don’t have diabetes, but do have high cholesterol. I had explained to the doc that I have been losing weight gradually for the past year and that I am living a healthier lifestyle. She, yes it’s a she (for some reason I trust female doctors more. It also helped that she graduated from my alma mater), said that I should go back and see her in 2 months and that I should continue to exercise and eat healthier. She also told me to start taking omega 3 fish oil. Lucky for me, I had some unopened omega 3 fish oil gel capsules that a friend had given me. That, working out, taking more fiber, and cutting back on cholesterol raising foods should do the trick.

So, my cholesterol is not that bad but it’s higher than she would like to see. That got me thinking that my cholesterol must have been a whole lot higher before I lost the 50 lbs…

I’m no expert so I had to do some research on the subject of cholesterol. One thing I do know is that having high levels of cholesterol is bad for you and can lead to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes. Not bueno! I like my heart.


Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that circulates in your blood. Some of your cholesterol comes from the foods you eat and some of it is made in your own body, specifically in the liver. Cholesterol does help produce new cells and some hormones, but too much of it in the blood can be troublesome.

LDL cholesterol is considered the bad one and HDL cholesterol is considered the normal one. HDL attaches to the LDL and brings it to the liver to filter it out of your body. I was told that I have high bad cholesterol which scared the crap out of me. Having high levels of cholesterol can lead to the build of of plaque that clogs the arteries which in turn leads to either heart attacks or strokes, depending on where the blood flow is reduced.

There are some foods I can avoid to help with lowering my cholesterol levels. Most are animal products that contain saturated fat. Some are meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, cheese, and eggs. Most fast food, junk food and packaged snacks are not welcomed either.

After doing some research on cholesterol I’ve come to the realization that this weight loss thing is for real. I NEED TO DROP THIS FAT WEIGHT. Not just to look better physically and feel better mentally, but to actually reduce the chances of dying!!!

I don’t know about you, but I am way too young to die and have way too much to live for.

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About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

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  1. That’s great news. I know a few people with diabetes and its no fun.

    cholesterol is one area that I don’t really know a lot about. I know that I have high LDL but a low overall cholesterol count.

    In 2 months you could be down another 10-15lbs. Should be interesting to see the results.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      So you have high LDL? What has your doctor said about that?

      • Fish Fish Fish. She said that if I work on raising the HDL, continue to drop weight and cut back the red meat to once a week that I should be fine.

        She also said that I could just have the genetics that keeps my overall levels low. My biggest concerns should be in getting the LDL to HDL ratios more in balance. Right now it’s 2 to 1 for the bad stuff.

        I still have a lot to learn.

        Did your doctor tell you how far off you are from being in the “normal” LDL range?

        • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

          2 to 1? I am about 20 to 30 above normal for the bad stuff. She did say my HDL was high, but not alarmingly high. She said that my LDL was high, but not anything that continuing to exercise and eat right wouldn’t help fix.

          Thanks for sharing Steve.

        • I just went for my physical on Monday. All my stats are down from the last time I had one done…woo hoo. Weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Michael WooNo Gravatar says:

    hey u need to take care of your health man

    got an uncle who passed away with high blood pressure

  3. My grandad is diabetic, not a nice thing to get, always makes me paranoid – got to go for a well woman check soon not looking forward to it. Look after yourself now you know it is easy to recognise you need to sort the blood pressure out – losing weight is prob the best way.

  4. MuataNo Gravatar says:

    Israel, I’m glad that you got a physical, and I hope that you start to make this a yearly visit. Hell, when I was in the midst of losing the majority of my fat, I saw the doctor every 6 months. I was able to use the “I’m doing low-carb and I want to make sure my arteries don’t start to harden” excuse to see him more than once a month. You gotta love HMOs! On the cholesterol front, I strongly suggest that you read Anthony Colpo’s The Great Cholesterol Con, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s book by the same title, and any book by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov. His website has great information as it relates to cholesterol, a very important substance in our body. Oh yeah, dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect your body’s cholesterol levels one bit! Read the books I mentioned above, check out and get ready to get pissed at all the mis-information you’ve been given about this topic!

  5. Dr. KalNo Gravatar says:

    Israel, I’m glad to read that you don’t have diabetes. Diabetes is no joke. That and having a stroke are my biggest medical fears.

    As far as your cholesterol, I wouldn’t focus too much on the saturated fat/red meat thing.

    To decrease your LDL and improve your HDL to LDL ratio:

    Keep losing weight
    Keep strength training
    Stay away from high glycemic-index carbs and high glycemic-load meals.

    Just my opinion. Its not like I’m not a doctor or anything.

  6. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel, I was googling around and just discovered your blog – love your FMU style! I agree with some of the other comments that there’s a lot of misinformation and self-interest out there, but it does seem uniformly true that a high LDL/HDL ratio isn’t the best for you.

    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 8 years ago. My doctors saw it coming from years of annual checkups but my diet checklists were always drawing a blank on what to change. I didn’t have sugar in the house (except for cooking), rarely ate cakes, sweets, crackers etc. Only occasionally ate potato crisps and drank beer – perhaps Friday & Saturday night but not every week. Ate high fibre, not too much fatty red meat etc etc. So there was nothing to remove as far as they could see – so my blood glucose trend continued up and here I am now diabetic.

    What they didn’t tell me was about exercise and resistance training and the benefits of building muscle rather than losing it as you grow older. That could have made a big difference I think.

    Anyway what I have since discovered in getting my diabetes under control is that managing your waistline is the most important goal, and then in the exercise department building muscle plus some aerobics is very important. If you do that you’ll reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    I’m down from a 34 waist to 30″ (I’m a small man!), lost 10% of my body weight and put on at least 10% in muscle weight – so that’s a lot of fat out of my system.

    Why don’t you try an avocado every morning like I do, I believe that really helps the LDL/HDL ratio, mine is 1.2 at the moment. I have mine with apple cider vinegar, chopped, and then eat that before the rest of breakfast. Small things help.

    I have a bit more here on my blog:

    It’s diabetic-oriented but you may find something helpful.

    Cheers FM and keep up the good work,
    Walter Adamson
    Melbourne, Australia

  7. UsmanNo Gravatar says:

    You should take in some unsaturated fats like omega 3, 6 and fish oils along with olive oil. Dont take the same thing every day. Take olive oil one day and dish oil the other day. Also – take good amounts of fiber.

  8. Hi Israel,

    I got a physical and found out that I had high cholesterol and boarder line high-blood pressure. My doc was more worried about the high-cholesterol but I told him that I had lost 15 pounds (in March this year – from Jan 1) and that I was focusing on fitness and health this year.

    He told me to stay away from high cholesterol foods and keep losing weight.

    The borderline high-blood pressure he told me to keep losing weight and start exercising. I started charting my blood pressure and found that any higher aerobic exercise had the effect of lowering my blood pressure for a day so I started working out at least every other day. Kaiser (my HMO) gives a pretty good report at the end of the physical so I’ll get another one next year to see (hopefully) progress.

    I just bought a mountain bike today and went on some trails… and boy let me tell you about fun – and it was good for me!

    I’m with you – I need to drop this weight if I’m going to live a long and healthy life. Hang in there Israel

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      John, I am so glad to hear that you did something about it!! As far as the mountain bike, I miss going on rides back in NY.

  9. Strong OneNo Gravatar says:

    Try oatmeal my friend. It has worked wonders for my overall cholesterol and cholesterol ratio.
    Best of luck.

  10. Hey Israel,

    Your weight loss journey is really impressive and I hope you can continue to improve your diet and cholesterol levels, and crack through that 300 pound barrier. Stay strong, and use the support of everyone reading your blog to take it to the next level.

    Let me know if I can help,


  11. Thanks for a great post. Make sure not to eliminate fat, just the bad ones! Take in about 4,000 mg of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). It’s derived from safflower oil and has been shown to reduce the body’s ability to store fat and increase the body’s use of fat for energy. It really helps reduce the risk of heart disease. I look forward to hearing about your progress. Best of luck!!!

  12. I have just come across your blog and would like to say well done on your weight loss so far. If you want to sort out your cholesterol levels then it is important that you do not smoke and that you eat only small amounts of saturated fats. The fish oil should help but try to eat oily fish as well as natural sources are much better than supplements. Exercise should help too.

  13. StellaNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with your doctor and your research here Israel. May be you did not develop diabetes because of losing weight or may be you just did not have inherited those HLA genes for getting diabetes. Whatever may be the reason, it is a good news for you to have only being detected with hypercholestrolemia. This is because when diabetes and high cholesterol are present together, they prove more risky! However, now you can fully control your situation by reducing weight and adopting a more healthier life style dear. I wish you all the best for your endeavors and may God bless you with great health! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good day and keep motivating others too!

  14. hairsolsNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel,
    i was glad to hear that you dont have diabetes
    i have a advice for you keep losing weight hope to hear more from you soon

  15. Mel TNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel,

    I hope you can get your cholesterol under control. My advice is eat:

    – Plenty of vegetables
    – Some fruit
    – Oat-based cereals
    – Multigrain breads
    – Small handfuls of nuts and seeds
    – Lean meats, and oily fish
    – Low fat dairy
    – Olive oil etc

    Every time you sit down for a meal draw imaginary lines on your plate dividing it into sections:

    25% should be whole grain (brown rice, whole grain barley, whole wheat pasta, buckwheat, whole oats, and multi-grain or seeded bread.)

    25% protein foods (lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, beans, peas and lentils)

    50% non-starchy vegetables or fruit (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or mixed salad leaves. Finish your meal with a piece of fruit or fruit salad for overall balance)

    Anyway, best wishes and keep us updated on how you’re doing, most important thing is you know about it now, so you can take action. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Good thing you don’t have diabetes, it’s really hard to if you have it, I know a lot who suffers from this ill. Antioxidant vitamins from fruits and vegetables have exhibited cholesterol-fighting properties and beneficial effects for heart function. Now a new study suggests that they could provide protection from a stroke by limiting the amount of inflicted brain damage.

  17. BlakeNo Gravatar says:

    looks like you’ve gotten some great advice here. keep plugging away with your healthy lifestyle and you’ll reach your goals. Keep working hard!

  18. botoxNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a type 2 diabetic that’s working hard to lower my bad cholesterol. My doc has done a good job of scaring me to death in terms of how bad cholesterol can kill you.

  19. LokesNo Gravatar says:

    What ever the conditions may be excess cholesterol always dangerous. Not know even to science how this excess devil react on body when this is present with its favourable companions in our body. As you rightly pointed out it is always better to loose weight. Thanks for your good projection.

  20. jayNo Gravatar says:

    everything in excess is a potential risk to our health. Moderation is the key. LDL’s may lead to cardiovascular problems. HDL or good cholesterol must be higher than LDL.

  21. HannaNo Gravatar says:

    Good for you! I’ve always believed that awareness is the first step to improvement. Some people may not care about how they look, even if they need to lose some weight, but they do need to care about their life. Good luck on your weight loss program! Hey Israel if you’re serious about losing weight, you might want to take a look at this site: It specializes in reviewing the numerous weight loss programs out there, so users will be able to find out which one works and which ones don’t. You can also submit a review of the programs you have tried, so that others may read and benefit from your experience.

  22. Good for you! I’ve always believed that awareness is the first step to improvement. Some people may not care about how they look, even if they need to lose some weight, but they do need to care about their life. Hey Israel, good luck on your weight loss program!

  23. I was browsing the net and I stumbled upon your site. I think I will learn from this site. I will definitely have my cholesterol check and research on it just to be sure.

  24. saleelNo Gravatar says:

    Oh! After reading your article i feel that many of us are not really taking enough care about health. your article is a remainder to us to awake. I can tell about myself that i havn’t checked cholesterol until now. tomorrow i am going to do it.

  25. Same problem as my parents have..just continue exercise and a balance diet..Good luck to you..hope good result soon…

  26. MattNo Gravatar says:

    Man, you’ve convinced me it’s time to take off the weight and start eating right. Between reading your blog and watching the Biggest Loser I’m finally finding the motivation I need to get going. Thanks, man!

  27. Allan HardyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Israel. Have you tried natural appetite suppressants? It worked for Angelina Jolie. One of them even helps lower cholesterol. Although, in your case, if you haven’t tried them, I’d consult your doctor first.

  28. I have too much to live for as well. I also had high cholesterol diagnosed and my doctor told me to lose weight. Here I am now on my road to fitness.

    Best of luck!

  29. mooseboyslimNo Gravatar says:

    Israel, great site. I’ve managed to bring my cholesterol down from 300 total the day I had my heart attack to under 165 nine years later. I found that losing 85 pounds over 1.5 years was the single best thing I could do to reduce LDL. I found that hill climbing and cardio had the best impact on HDL, and I managed to raise that quite a few points through consistent exercise. I take 6 cold water fish capsules a day, and that has raised my hdl an easy 12 points all by itself. You are an awesome example of character and will. Thanks for being here!

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Sounds like you have it all set up. I am glad to hear you did those positive things to better your health. I am on the same path my friend. Thank you!

  30. geteneshNo Gravatar says:

    I need advice because I am type 2 diabetics and 200 cholesterol what can I do in addtion to medicall treatment?

  31. VideoMDNo Gravatar says:

    Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. Exercise helps to take the effect of excess cholesterol in blood. Excess Cholesterol can lead to diabetes and other heart diseases. so it is essential to control cholesterol to avoid diabetes.

  32. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, Israel it’s good you don’t have diabetes, I have type 2 and it’s no fun. I’ve lost a lot of weight to manage it as well.

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