1. If you are a healthy young individual with a blood cholesterol
just above the upper limit of normal , I would advocate a lowering control by diet only . This is the avoidance of animal fats and saturated ones ; to consume lots of vegetables and fruits. Physical exercise definitely helps in lowering cholesterol
2.But if the cholesterol is raised to a pathological level and/ or the individual has had a circulatory problem related to hypercholesterolaemia or has a strong family history of morbidity / mortality related to it, i will not hesitate to prescribed high dosage of statins + strict dieting. These are situations where there may be a race against time.
3.In between these two extremes one can vary the recommendations.
Hope this answers your question