I went on a whole food, plant-based diet to try to improve health markers like cholesterol. Eating minimal fat was supposed to make my arteries pristine, right? Yet as an underweight anorexic my cholesterol was unusually high! Turns out, it wasn't that unusual.
Here's a video of Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani explaining that starvation causes cholesterol levels to go up. The only solution to decreasing this cholesterol is to eat more and be nourished. So, eat more fat and food if you want to lower your starvation-induced high cholesterol! Do NOT take cholesterol medication for it.
The reason anorexics might have high cholesterol
"Hypercholesterolemia has long been known to be associated with anorexia nervosa. Typically total cholesterol and LDL are elevated; HDL may be high also. With refeeding, cholesterol levels return to baseline."
"There have been several theories regarding the pathophysiology. These include reduced cholesterol metabolism, starvation-induced increased flux of peripheral cholesterol to the liver, decreased LDL-receptor activity and/or decreased triiodothyronine associated with a starvation state.
Our current understanding is that the hypercholesterolemia is due to increased cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) activity in patients who are malnourished but have preserved levels of free fatty acids."