The TLC Diet was devised by the National Cholesterol Education Program with the intention of sharing it with medical professionals. Doctors were advised to share the TLC Diet plan to patients who needed to lower their cholesterol. It is heavily based on what’s known as heart healthy foods with the TLC Diet standing for the Theraputic Lifestyle Changes Diet. The TLC Diet works by lowering their LDL level and increasing their HDL level so that the disk of chronic disease and cardiac problems will be reduced. Cholesterol is produced naturally by the body and is present in meat, dairy and eggs. LDLs transport cholesterol through the bloodstream and can form as plaque in the arteries causing them to become clogged up. HDLs help to break up this plaque and pass it through the liver to be excreted. For those at risk of heart attack, lowering their LDL levels can be very important and the TLC Diet is great for those who want to bring it down.
What Does the TLC Diet Involve?
The TLC Diet isn’t just about food although it is a strong factor, it also includes other aspects of life, hence the name, it’s about lifestyle changes. First of all you are advised to reduce the amount of trans fat, saturated fat and foods high in cholesterol in the diet and to increase fiber. For women with a waist over 35 inches and men over 40 inches it is suggested they lose weight, being over-weight can increase LDL levels and raise the risk of high cholesterol based diseases. Regular exercise is advised too, not just for those who are over-weight but anyone wanting to reduced the bad cholesterol in their body. The specific food plan is dependant on your personal health and lifestyle. For example someone who has diabetes would have a different eating plan on the TLC Diet than someone who is at high risk of heart attack. These parameters will be measure by a doctor.
Generally on the TLC Diet the patient is advised to get less than 7% of their daily calories from saturated fat and to have an absolute maximum of 35% calories from all fats each day. They also need to be having less than 200mg of cholesterol from food each day on the TLC Diet. Less sodium and increased fiber is also recommended as these are also heart healthy options. The aim of the TLC Diet is to see a significant reduction in LDLs after size weeks. If this hasn’t happened then plant sterols that block cholesterol from being absorbed by the body can be added. And of course there is encouragement to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. There’s no set food plans as such but there are many suggestions and examples out there for the TLC Diet.
Who Should Be On the TLC Diet?
We have seen that people with high cholesterol and those at risk of heart attack would benefit from being on the TLC Diet but it can help those who are looking for a general lifestyle change. All levels of calories, nutrients and vitamins are covered on the TLC Diet so you wouldn’t be deficient in anything. Although not specifically designed for weight loss, many find they can lose weight on the TLC Diet due to it being generally a lot lower in fat than most peoples diets. There are people who may not have been identified just yet at being at risk of heart problems but there’s also other things that can change a persons cholesterol level.
These include people who drink alcohol regularly, people who live a sedentary lifestyle getting little or no exercise each day and being overweight. Smokers are also increasing their risks due to the toxins being breathed in. Men are more likely to have higher LDL cholesterol levels while post menopausal women can see their LDL levels rise as well. Older people are more at risk, as they age their cholesterol levels gradually rise as well. And finally genetics come into play as well, it is possible to just inherit a higher level of cholesterol. These people in these situations would also benefit from the TLC Diet.