Elevated triglycerides (fats present in the blood plasma) tend to come down the fastest, usually in a few months or even less. This will often result in a corresponding drop in your total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is a combination of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol); therefore, a sudden drop or increase can be potentially misleading. You'll need to pay close attention to your levels of HDL and LDL to determine if you've really decreased bad cholesterol and increased good cholesterol. If triglycerides are not elevated, it may take longer to see a decrease in your total cholesterol.
The speed with which your cholesterol levels improve also has to do with the method you've employed. Changing your lifestyle through diet and exercise is great for overall health, but it may take some time for cholesterol levels to improve. If, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, you're taking cholesterol-lowering drugs per doctor's orders, you could see improvement in as little as one month. Consult with your doctor to see if you're on the right track.
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