TLC Diet – Your Key to a Healthy Lifestyle

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Published on: September 29, 2012


What is TLC diet?

To effectively lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the National Institutes of Health has come up with a diet plan known as the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet endorsed by the American Heart Association. This diet is intended for lowering the risk of heart disease, and involves diet along with healthy changes in lifestyle.

TLC diet does not primarily target weight-loss; instead, it is for maintaining an ideal body weight and determining the ideal daily calorie intake. TLC diet is based on a few basic guidelines as mentioned below:

  • Intake of saturated fat should be kept below 7 percent of the total calorie intake
  • Daily cholesterol intake should be kept below 200 milligrams
  • Sodium intake must be limited to 2400 mg per day
  • 25-35% of daily total calories should come from fat intake
  • Calorie intake should be kept to a level needed for maintaining healthy weight
  • Physical activity must be maintained regularly along with the diet, i.e. at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

How does it Work?

TLC diet aims to lower the saturated fats in your diet, which in turn lowers your cholesterol level. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and increase our cholesterol levels. With this diet, you can replace the saturated fats in your body with unsaturated fats, which are much healthier.


Pros & Cons of TLC Diet

Pros

  • This diet is simple, straightforward and easy to follow.

 

  • It is healthy and brings about positive changes in lifestyle, as it helps in lowering cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

 

  • TLC diet educates people to read their food labels and thus know what they are eating.

Cons

  • As mentioned before, TLC diet is not designed for losing weight, but for lowering cholesterol levels. Thus, it is not entirely suitable for people seeking to shed weight, even though it does result in weight-loss to some extent. However, it should not be taken primarily for this purpose.

 

  • When on this diet, you are completely on your own and need to follow all the instructions by learning to read nutrition labels, as well as calculate the percentage of saturated fats in different foods you consume. This makes it difficult to follow this diet.

 

  • If you are following TLC diet for health concerns (i.e. lower your cholesterol levels) then it is not the only thing that might help. You may still need to take other cholesterol-lowering drugs or medications for effective results.

TLC Diet Regime

Categories: TLC diet
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Published on: September 29, 2012

 

TLC diet, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet is designed by National Cholesterol Education Program (NECP) to lower your cholesterol by regulating your diet to elevate your physical activity, reduce weight and threats of heart attacks. Although, the diet is not designed to cut down weight, it is well-liked, as it not only helps in weight loss but is also good for overall health.

The diet rules your daily intake of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and fiber-containing products, for a balanced diet. Listed below are some of the details of the regimen, the diet has set out:

Fats:

This diet recommends overall fat consumption to be 25 to 30 percent of daily total calories. Two main types of fats found in foods are saturated fats (bad fats) and unsaturated fats (good fats). Studies suggest that these bad fats in our diet raise the bad cholesterol levels; therefore, TLC diet is effective as it minimizes the amount of saturated fats leading to lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fats, solid at room temperature, include fatty animal meats, whole milk dairy products and fried foods. These fats are also found in plants like coconuts and palm. Processed foods such as peanut butters contain saturated fats in abundance, therefore, either they should be avoided or consumed in very less amounts. TLC diet restricts consumption of saturated fats to 7 percent of total daily intake.

 Unsaturated fats like nuts and all fish products lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol level.

Cholesterol:

Only foods are not responsible for increasing cholesterols; liver makes the majority of cholesterol required by body. The diet limits cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

Carbohydrates:

TLC diet stresses the intake of healthier carbohydrates such as pasta, vegetables and whole wheat bread, instead of foods prepared from simple sugar like cookies or pastries. The diet recommends total carbohydrate daily intake to be around 50 to 60 percent of total calories.

Protein:

The diet provides around 15 percent of daily calories from proteins that is within the recommended level of 10 to 35 percent.

Other key nutrients:

Consumption of veggies, fruits and beans, and the major sources of fiber does not only lower cholesterol levels but also support easy digestion. Since, with TLC diet you are gaining more potassium, you are likely to experience stabilized blood pressure levels, reduced risk of development of kidney stones and decreased bone loss. Fulfilling the recommended 100 mg to 1000 mg of calcium, apart from maintaining bones will also facilitate blood vessels and muscles to function properly.

Although, TLC encourages a heart-healthy and a balanced diet and lowers cholesterol levels by diminishing fat intake and increasing fiber consumption, it does have a few cons.

Cons:

1. Aims to reduce cholesterol levels; not weight

2. You may starve if follow this diet consistently

3. Must learn to read nutrition labels and calculate percentages of saturated fats in foods you eat

4. You may still require cholesterol lowering drugs

 

TLC diet, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet is designed by National Cholesterol Education Program (NECP) to lower your cholesterol by regulating your diet to elevate your physical activity, reduce weight and threats of heart attacks. Although, the diet is not designed to cut down weight, it is well-liked, as it not only helps in weight loss but is also good for overall health.

The diet rules your daily intake of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and fiber-containing products, for a balanced diet. Listed below are some of the details of the regimen, the diet has set out:

Fats:

This diet recommends overall fat consumption to be 25 to 30 percent of daily total calories. Two main types of fats found in foods are saturated fats (bad fats) and unsaturated fats (good fats). Studies suggest that these bad fats in our diet raise the bad cholesterol levels; therefore, TLC diet is effective as it minimizes the amount of saturated fats leading to lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fats, solid at room temperature, include fatty animal meats, whole milk dairy products and fried foods. These fats are also found in plants like coconuts and palm. Processed foods such as peanut butters contain saturated fats in abundance, therefore, either they should be avoided or consumed in very less amounts. TLC diet restricts consumption of saturated fats to 7 percent of total daily intake.

 Unsaturated fats like nuts and all fish products lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol level.

Cholesterol:

Only foods are not responsible for increasing cholesterols; liver makes the majority of cholesterol required by body. The diet limits cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

Carbohydrates:

TLC diet stresses the intake of healthier carbohydrates such as pasta, vegetables and whole wheat bread, instead of foods prepared from simple sugar like cookies or pastries. The diet recommends total carbohydrate daily intake to be around 50 to 60 percent of total calories.

Protein:

The diet provides around 15 percent of daily calories from proteins that is within the recommended level of 10 to 35 percent.

Other key nutrients:

Consumption of veggies, fruits and beans, and the major sources of fiber does not only lower cholesterol levels but also support easy digestion. Since, with TLC diet you are gaining more potassium, you are likely to experience stabilized blood pressure levels, reduced risk of development of kidney stones and decreased bone loss. Fulfilling the recommended 100 mg to 1000 mg of calcium, apart from maintaining bones will also facilitate blood vessels and muscles to function properly.

Although, TLC encourages a heart-healthy and a balanced diet and lowers cholesterol levels by diminishing fat intake and increasing fiber consumption, it does have a few cons.

Cons:

1. Aims to reduce cholesterol levels; not weight

2. You may starve if follow this diet consistently

3. Must learn to read nutrition labels and calculate percentages of saturated fats in foods you eat

4. You may still require cholesterol lowering drugs

TLC Diet- Tender Loving Care for the Heart!

Categories: TLC diet
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Published on: September 29, 2012

The TLC diet was created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program and endorsed by the American Heart Association as one of the most heart-healthy diets. So what does this diet has to offer? Well to begin with, it is all about drastically reducing fat from your diet, particularly bad, saturated fat. Saturated fat is what increases bad cholesterol in your system, which in turn doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. But that’s not all; the TLC diet also increases the intake of fiber in your diet, which absorbs whatever bad cholesterol is in your body and that too without medication.

How does it work?

So let’s get started on the TLC diet. First and foremost, you need to decide what your goals are; losing weight or managing cholesterol?  If managing cholesterol is what you want, then your calorie intake according to the TLC diet should be 2,500 calories/day for men and 1,800 for women. However, if its weight and inches you are trying to trim, then 1,600 calories/day for men and 1,200 for women are ideal. This will be achieved by cutting down on saturated fat to less than 7 percent /day. This means, limited amounts of high-fat dairy like butter, and fatty meats like salami. The goal is to limit your daily intake of dietary cholesterol to just 200 milligrams/day.

With this regime, if you haven’t been able to reduce your LDL cholesterol by 8 to 10 percent, start taking 2 grams of plant stanols or sterols with 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily. Soluble fiber along with plant stanols and sterols stop cholesterol from being absorbed into your blood stream. TLC diet includes: lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, and skin-off poultry. Just how you include them in your daily diet is entirely up to you.

But what about weight loss?

Since the TLC diet was created specifically to target cholesterol levels and not weight loss, its success with weight loss has never really been researched. But, patient’s feedback identifies that a low-fat diet tends to promote weight loss anyways.

Does it really protect the heart?

The TLC diet has had great success against cardiovascular disease and has even been helpful in managing diabetes. It is no wonder that the TLC diet is called the heart-healthy diet since its focus on eating fruits, veggies, whole grains and little or no saturated fat and salt is considered to be the best defense against cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease.

In fact, according to a research printed in the Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis recently, the TLC diet was found to significantly lower the fasting insulin levels of patients with high cholesterol. This is of great significance since high levels of insulin are a sign of whether someone will develop type 2 diabetes. Experts now think that a diet like TLC helps manage diabetes best due to its emphasis on eating the right foods.

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