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.
What You Can EatEdit
The TLC diet calls for less than 7% of your daily calories to come from saturated fat and for eating no more than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol a day. But the diet allows 25% to 35% of daily calories from fat, mainly from unsaturated fat.1 Most of the fat should be monounsaturated, and only 10% should be polyunsaturated fat. Your diet should include only enough calories to maintain your desired weight and avoid gaining weight.