What is the TLC Diet?
The TLC diet is a government tested and endorsed diet that can lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) by 8 to 10 percent in a matter of six weeks. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet (TLC) is essentially a low-fat eating plan that focuses of cutting down on unhealthy fat intake, particularly saturated fat consumption. Saturated fat is responsible for increasing the levels of bad cholesterol in your body. The higher the LDL cholesterol levels, the greater the risk of suffering from heart attacks and stroke. Common sources of saturated fat include whole-milk dairy products, fatty meat, and fried foods. The TLC diet was developed by the National Institute of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program, and has been approved by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy diet that can counter the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
How Does The TLC Diet Work?
The TLC diet allows you to choose your daily calorie target based on whether you only want to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, or if you also want to lose excess weight simultaneously. If the objective is to lower bad cholesterol levels, then men should aim for a calorie intake of 2500 per day and women should aim for 1800 calories per day. If weight loss is part of your plan, then men should limit their calorie intake to 1600 per day, and women should restrict their calorie intake to 1200 per day.
The next step is to reduce daily saturated fat intake to less than 7%, and limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 200 milligrams per day (equal to the quantity contained in 2 ounces of cheese). If your LDL cholesterol levels do not drop by 8 to 10 percent after six weeks, start taking 2 grams of plant stanols or sterols per day coupled with 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily. Plant stanols or sterols are available as supplements, and are also present in vegetable oils and some types of margarine.
Followers of the TLC diet will be required to incorporate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, whole grain foods, fish, and skinless poultry. The quantities of each of these food items can be varied on a day to day basis. Rough guidelines provided by the National Cholesterol Education Program are as follows:
- Limit daily meat intake to a minimum of no more than 5 ounces. Only lean turkey, fish and skinless chicken should be consumed.
- Have 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy products daily.
- Have up to 4 servings of fruits daily.
- Have up to 3 to 5 servings of vegetables on a daily basis.
- Have up to 6 to 11 servings of bread, rice, pasta, cereal or other whole grains.
The primary objective of the TLC diet is to control LDL cholesterol levels. It was not designed for weight loss. However, research suggests that low-fat diets do promote weight loss in general. A research study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine (2004) compared weight loss results of a group of Atkins dieters with those of a group of TLC dieters. The total sample size was 120 people, all of whom were overweight. The diets were followed for a total of six months by all the participants. Those on the Atkins diet reported an average loss of 31 pounds while those on the TLC diet reported an average loss of 20 pounds…
Read More: Jennifer Elliot, fitnessrepublic.com
3 thoughts on “TLC Diet: Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels in Just 6 Weeks”
I lowered my LDL by adopting a high-fat, low-carb way of eating. I also doubled my HDL and lowered my triglycerides. My LDL and triglycerides were much higher when I ate according to the TLC plan.
You can find a lot of foods and drinks that are fortified with plant sterols to help lower your cholesterol. This includes yummy snack foods like Corazonas oatmeal squares or dark chocolate pomegranate VitaBrownies. You can also get Minute Maid Heartwise OJ or SmartBalance HeartRight milk for breakfast.
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