My fasting cholesterol was 333. My doctor wanted to put me on a cholest. lowering medication and I chose to try to lower it on my own by diet and exercise. I never ate red meat anyway, only chicken and fish. I cut out all animal products and dairy products except for low fat yogurt on occasion. I swithced to soy milk and soy products, bought a Vegetarian cookbook and told myself I can do this for 3 months just to see if I could lower it on my own without drugs. When I went back to have it checked it was 243. They do not choose to put me on a pill at this time and I have also discovered that I like being a vegetarian! Once you start taking the pills you are doomed to stay on them!