The TLC Diet: Put Your Heart Into The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet

The TLC DietThe TLC diet, also called the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, is primarily focused on cutting fat so that your heart is operating at optimal health. Saturated fats are the least healthy and do the most damage to your body. By increasing bad cholesterol, saturated fats can cause major illness like heart attack and stroke. If you cut the cholesterol and increase fiber intake, then you are on the pathway to a healthier life.

When you are told by your doctor to follow the TLC diet, it usually means that you have heart disease or are at a high risk of developing heart disease.  You may need to radically adjust your diet to meet the guidelines and see results.

This diet calls for you to eat less than 7% of your daily calories for the diet in saturated fats, and 25-35% of your calories from fats.  That means that you will need to increase the amount of mono and poly unsaturated fats that you eat.  You also will need to lower the total amount of cholesterol that you eat to below 200 mg, and that usually involves lowering the animal products that you eat – animals make cholesterol not plants.  Therefore it is only found in animal foods products such as eggs, meat, chicken, and milk.  Limiting your sodium intake to less than 2400 mg per day is a priority as well, and that is a little more than just not salting your foods.  And – very important – eating only enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.  If you are looking for an easy way to follow a TLC Diet – or a cardiac diet meal plan– we provide them for you weekly and they meet the guidelines you are looking for.

How does it work?

Choose your calorie intake for the day and stick with it.  You can find out more by using the calculator found on the NHLBI webpage. The TLC diet is good for reducing cholesterol and saturated fat which helps you shed the pounds off your body. If you wish to lose more weight, then lower that calorie intake per day or add more exercise.

Also the TLC diet is made to drop your calorie intake of saturated fat daily to seven percent, which is found mainly in high-fat dairy, butter, and fatty meats. When you add fiber into the equation, it helps with regulating your digestive system and to block the absorption of bad cholesterol. This will keep your body more healthy and reduce the risk of a major heart attack or stroke.

How do I put it into practice?

First you will want to keep meat to small portions. Don’t let your meat dominate the rest of the meal like most people do, instead only make it ¼ of the plate, not 1/2. Maintain a high consumption of raw vegetables and fruit that are natural sources of vitamins and nutrition that will keep your body at a healthy balance.

Keep dairy products to about 8 ounces per day, and when you do eat them make sure they are nonfat or low-fat.  Also make sure and eat plenty of whole grains. This would include bread, cereal, and pasta. Carbohydrates are not always a bad thing, and your body needs them, so supply your body with them but in healthy quantities.  Try to make them about ¼ of your plate as well, and save the majority of your plate for green, orange, red or yellow vegetables!

Will I see results?

Although this diet is not centered on losing weight, if you can lose up to five to ten percent of your current weight it will help lower your risk of severe illness. The TLC diet is dedicated to helping improve cardiovascular function and that’s exactly what it does. People who have tried the diet have seen a double digit decrease in cholesterol levels. Getting your total cholesterol below 200 and your LDL cholesterol below 100 (because you have risk factors) will provide you with a reduction in heart disease risk.

It’s all about watching what you eat and taking the time to choose what you eat carefully, especially by following a cardiac diet meal plan. There is a lot of discipline involved, but your health is on the line, so don’t forfeit that. If you follow all the guidelines and are more careful about your dietary choices, then you will see a dramatic reduction in your cholesterol levels which will reduce your chance for heart disease. Try the TLC diet, and stick with it. The TLC diet can lead you to a healthier life if you choose to implement it.

If you struggle to keep up with your diet and need more help, why not try our cardiac diet meal plan that provides a meal plan with 7 meals, nutritionals, instructions and grocery list for the week that meets your dietary guidelines and needs?  You can download it immediately and get started now.