Patient: I normally eat a good diet that is low in fats, red meat, desserts, etc. I recently went on vacation for two weeks (including a cruise) and increased both the quantity of food I ate but also the fats, red meat, sugar, butter, eggs, etc. Can to weeks of eating a significantly worse diet have any effect on cholesterol levels if tested within a few days of eating poorly?
Doctor: For a normal, healthy person, one high-fat meal may not have any detrimental effect and you might be okay, but that may y not be true if you’re at high risk because of heart disease. Studies have found that within 3 to 5 hours after having a very high-fat meal, the function of the blood vessels start to became abnormal, and it seems that the effect of one meal is probably gone in six hours. So if you already have a coronary disease and you eat the high fat meal, it is possible that during this period of 3 to 5 hours of increased cholesterol in the blood, you could be at a high risk of having a cardiac event. But this also does not certainly confirm that if you have a single fatty meal once in a while, you’re at risk. Conclusively, you should try to avoid every temptation to have a high fat diet for even once, if you fal into the high risk category for heart disease.