A large and convincing body of evidence links increased coronary risk with elevated plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Cholesterol in atherosclerotic lesions originates from that circulating in the blood bound to LDL. Even mild degrees of hypercholesterolemia (cholesterol > 180 mg/dl) when due to increased levels of LDL are associated with increased risk. Lowering plasma levels of LDL has been clearly shown to reduce coronary risk. We are able to modify plasma levels of LDL by restricting the dietary content of cholesterol and saturated fats. Such diets are safe and can be adhered to by large populations. Available information, reviewed here in detail, supports vigorous efforts to lower cholesterol levels by dietary means, even in the patient with so-called mild hypercholesterolemia. The evidence is overwhelmingk the risk is nil, and the potential benefits are substantial.