The TLC diet, or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, is geared towards those of us looking to lower our cholesterol. The TLC diet is predicated on making changes that will dramatically decrease your cholesterol levels.
By simply changing your eating habits, some people are able to lower their cholesterol by as much as 10% to 20%. Because changing your diet can have such an effect on your cholesterol levels, this is usually the first step you will need to take before introducing medicine to lower your cholesterol.
What is the TLC diet?
The TLC diet is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The main goal of the diet is to lower your cholesterol levels by reducing your saturated fat intake. A high level of saturated fats elevates your cholesterol, which is why you need to reduce your level of saturated fats that you eat if you hope to lower your cholesterol levels.
What can I eat when on the TLC diet?
If you know that your cholesterol level is much higher than it should be, you will need to make drastic changes to your daily diet. The first change you will want to make is replacing most of the animal fat in your diet with unsaturated fat. The TLC diet requires that less than 7% of your daily caloric intake comes from saturated fat. Also, you may not eat no more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day to help maintain your desired weight and avoid gaining any additional weight.
Here are some recommended foods that you can eat while on the TLC diet. As you can see, there is a wide variety of options from which to choose, allowing you to be creative when planning your meals when on the TLC diet.
- Lean meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, and dry peas
- Low-fat milk
- Pasta and Rice
By avoiding food that is loaded with saturated fat, you will start to see your cholesterol levels decrease without doing anything else. Once you add a regular exercise routine to your diet, you will really start to see the health benefits associated with the TLC diet.
How to be successful with the TLC diet
As is the case with any diet plan, you must stick to the requirements of the diet. Since the TLC diet requires you to reduce your saturated fat intake, you need to make every possible effort to follow this rule. Planning your meals in advance will help you prepare a well balanced meal every day and avoid being tempted by quick, easy meals that are often loaded with saturated fats. Preparing meals a day or two in advance will still allow you to quickly eat your dinner without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.