TLC Diet to Control Hypercholesterolemia


If you’ve been suffering from high cholesterol or been warned by your doctor to lower cholesterol, then you may need more than just medicine. In cases like this, it’s best to start with a diet and lifestyle change. That’s where the TLC diet comes into play. The TLC diet, otherwise known as the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet is a healthy eating plan created by the National Institutes of Health to specifically combat hypercholesterolemia. It not only helps to lower your bad cholesterol, but improves your heart health, lowers your blood sugar levels, helps to manage your blood pressure, and reduce your chance of stroke.

How It Works

The primary goal of this diet is to minimize the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) and the total cholesterol in hopes of clearing your arteries and optimizing heart health. It does this by combining diet and exercise over a long amount of time.

It requires you to actually change the types of fat you’re consuming and increase your intake of cholesterol lowering compounds such as, soluble fiber and plant sterols. On top of all of that, you must maintain an active lifestyle.

Below are some guidelines for the TLC diet:

  • Only eat as many calories as needed to maintain a healthy weight.
  • At least 25–35% of your daily calories must be derived from fat.
  • No more than 7% of your daily calories should be coming from saturated fat.
  • Your daily dietary cholesterol intake has to be limited to less than 200 mg per day.
  • You should consume 10–25 grams of soluble fiber daily.
  • Consume a minimum of 2 grams of plant stanols or plant sterols each day.
  • Spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day doing moderate exercise or physical activity.

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