It takes only two weeks for a diet to lower cholesterol as much as it is going to do.

You lower cholesterol by replacing saturated fats from animals with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats from plants, and by restricting refined carbohydrates found in bakery products, pastas and sugar-added foods and drinks. Many doctors think that it takes months for a cholesterol-lowering diet to work, but a study from New Zealand confirms many others, showing that it takes only two weeks for a diet to give you maximum cholesterol lowering.

If you have a high cholesterol, go on a diet that restricts saturated fats in meat and dairy products, and refined carbohydrates in bakery products, pastas, and sugar-added foods or beverages. Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and beans. You’ll find full instructions in my two-week Show Me! Diet. Then ask your doctor to recheck your cholesterol. If it is not normal after two weeks on the diet, you may need to take medication.

The best diet to lower cholesterol is the same as one designed to lower blood pressure: see my modified DASH diet. This way of eating is the all-around best for controlling cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure and weight.

Maximal response to a plasma cholesterol-lowering diet is achieved within two weeks. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 2002, Vol 12, Iss 5, pp 291-295. L Hodson, CM Skeaff, JE McKenzie. Skeaff CM, Univ Otago, Dept Human Nutr, POB 56, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND

Checked 5/17/17