Cholesterol, the topic without equilibrium. A jump of panic toward whether it’s too high, or what can be done about it. As a whole, cholesterol serves as a key building block, created by the liver to aid in muscular tissue repair as well as the creation of our essential hormones, namely oestrogen and testosterone¹.

Regulating our dietary intake can ensure that we don’t succumb to heightened levels of cholesterol, more than our body requires. As such, there are a few things to bear in mind that you can do on the daily to ensure that your cholesterol stays within a manageable and healthy range. 

Dietary Influence on Your Cholesterol 


Our diets hold a significant impact on our blood cholesterol levels, but not in the way that you might expect. The culprits are the amount of carbohydrates in combination with the types of fat consumed, rather than consuming foods high in cholesterol¹. There has also been much dispute about whether the consumption of eggs hold a negative association with the increase of cholesterol. The general consensus, after 60 years of research² is that dietary cholesterol from eggs has a very minor effect on LDL-cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. So feel free to add those eggs to your meals! 


The low-carb and ketogenic diets hold a number of health benefits toward weight loss and managing blood sugar levels. Moreover, the reduction of carbohydrates leads to the increase in HDL cholesterol, particularly with people who have diabetes, obesity or insulin resistance³. Opting for complex carbohydrates (whole grains, sweet potato, peas, beans, vegetables, quinoa) over simple and processed carbohydrates (white potato, sugars, fruits, baked goods, cereals) is a good place to start. 


Whilst following a low-carb, or even ketogenic diet, the crux of macronutrient content is fat. It’s important to note which aspects of fat you should be wary of to ensure that you keep a check on their levels. When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, consuming in moderation mono- and poly- unsaturated fats, as opposed to saturated fat is known to have a positive influence improving your blood cholesterol⁴ 

Saturated fat, found in meat and dairy products instruct the liver⁵ to produce more LDL cholesterol and so consuming in moderation (typically less than 6% of daily calories⁶) is recommended. Try start by limiting your consumption of red meat and full fat dairy products as well as fried foods and instead replace them by cooking leaner meats with healthy oils, or by using other healthy alternatives (almond or soya milk). 

The one type of fat that should we all should heed the most caution with is artificial trans-fatty acids. These are manufactured as part of the process of hydrogenation⁵ ⁷, where vegetable oils are turned into solids. A good example of this is when sunflower oil is turned into margarine, or when ice-cream is immediately scoopable out of the freezer.  

Hydrogenation essentially means that the melting point of the substance can be manipulated to a desirable effect; chocolate melting in your mouth instead of in your hands, for example. Trans-fatty acids are linked to elevated risks of coronary heart disease⁸ ⁹ adverse effects on the brain and nervous system, as well as being responsible for increased LDL and decreased HDL cholesterol.

cholesterol balance nutritional value swiss point of care

On international nutrition labels, a trans fat value can be found under the “fats” heading and so you can actively take steps to avoid them. In Europe however, the trans fat value isn’t visible as instead manufacturers have limited ability to use trans fats in their products. Furthermore food manufacturers have to declare to wholesalers when the amount of trans fat in their product exceeds the limit of 2% of total fat¹³. 

Lifestyle Changes 


Changing up your lifestyle in favour of healthier habits, will aid in regulating your cholesterol levels. The positive and uplifting effects of exercise are widespread and the same is said for balanced cholesterol levels. Vigorous exercise¹⁰ is best for boosting HDL, and losing 5-10% of your current weight (if needed) can have the same effect as well reducing blood pressure and blood glucose issues.  

Additionally, regular physical activity exercises the heart, which in turn helps the body become more effective at removing cholesterol¹¹ from the blood, steadily lowering LDL levels. The combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity greatly compliments each other in managing your cholesterol levels. 

Other considerations for a healthier lifestyle include moderation of alcohol consumption and quitting smoking. By drinking in moderation, there can be a rise in HDL¹⁰, though too much alcohol raises triglyceride levels which in turn can result in heightened total cholesterol levels. Smoking damages your blood vessels speeding up the hardening of your arteries an as such, quitting will improve HDL cholesterol¹⁰ ¹² as well as provide many other benefits to your heart and health. 

Medical Disclaimer: The information reflected in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult your physician or medical specialist before making any major adjustments to your diet.


  1. Harvard TH Chan (2021) – The Nutrition Source: Cholesterol, part of the Harvard School of Public Health 
  2. Griffin B,A (2016) – Eggs: Good or bad? Published to the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, PubMed. 
  3. Spritzler, F (2020) – 9 Ways to Increase Your HDL Cholesterol Levels, published on Medical News Today. 
  4. American Heart Association (2020) – The Skinny on Fats, reviewed by science and medicine advisers. 
  5. Wexler, A (2021) – Foods High in Cholesterol: What to Know, published to Medical News Today. 
  6. American Heart Association (2020) – Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidaemia), reviewed by science and medicine advisers.  
  7. American Heart Association (2017) – Trans fat, reviewed by science and medicine advisers. 
  8. Ginter, E, Simko, V (2016) – New Data on Harmful Effects of Trans-fatty Acids. Bratisl Lek Listy, Pubmed. 
  9. de Souza, R et al (2015) – Intake of Saturated and Trans Unsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of all Cause Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Type 2 Diabetes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies, published to the US National Library of Medicine, NIH. 
  10. Harvard Health Publishing (2019) – HDL: The Good, but Complex, Cholesterol, published as part of Harvard Medical School 
  11. Villines, Z (2021) – The Best Ways to Reduce Cholesterol, and How Long it Takes, published to Medical News Today 
  12. CDC (2021) – Preventing High Cholesterol, published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
  13. European Commission (2019) – Trans Fat in Food