Background The strong causal role of hypercholesterolaemia on the progression of atherosclerosis and subsequently on the development of cardiovascular disease is well described. Main aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of self-reported hypercholesterolaemia and its relation to nutritional habits, in a representative nationwide sample of adult Greek population. Methods Cross sectional survey. Based on a multistage sampling, 5003 adults (18 – 74 yr) were enrolled (men: 48.8%, women: 51.2%). All participants were interviewed by trained personnel who used a standard questionnaire. The questionnaire included demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, medical history, lifestyle habits and nutritional assessment. Results The prevalence of self-reported hypercholesterolaemia was 16.4% in men and 21.8% in women (P < 0.001). Hypercholesterolaemic status was positively associated with the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, renal failure, obesity and physical inactivity, and inversely with the prevalence of smoking. The analysis of reported food consumption patterns showed that consumption of fish, fruits and juices, cereals, and low fat milk and yogurt was significantly higher among hypercholesterolaemic participants while the opposite was observed for food items as red meat, pork, egg, full fat dairy products and desserts. Conclusion Hypercholesterolaemia seems to affect a large part of Greek population. It is hopeful that hypercholesterolaemics may have started adopting some more healthy nutritional behaviour compared to normocholesterolaemic ones.