The TLC Diet: It’s a Fact, Not a Fad

Diet program, AGAIN?!

We hear about all kinds of diet programs from the media. But are any of them authentic? Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and read them carefully before saying, “That’s for me!”

Moreover, diet plans created by diet “experts” simply don’t work. They are trends that may soon be forgotten. If you want a diet plan that works, research the creators and who actually recommends the program. When a diet plan starts with tedious research and analysis, there is a better chance it is going to work.

In 1985, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program initiated the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, (TLC) Diet program. After updating the program for cholesterol management, the American Heart Association started endorsing it. Just recently the “U.S. News and World Report” ranked the TLC Diet second place in the “Best Diets Overall” ranking. It is not a surprise that the program also got second place in the “Best Heart-Healthy Diet” and “Best Diets for Healthy Eating” rankings.    

The TLC Diet Target:                                                                                                                     

Lower the LDL or “bad” cholesterol intake.

A build-up of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the main reason for artery blockages. An LDL cholesterol level of less than 100mg/dL is considered optimal, while 190mg/dL and higher is considered very high.

The TLC Diet’s Integral Parts:      

For six weeks:          

Keep saturated fat intake below 7 percent of total calories

Cholesterol must only be below 200 milligrams daily

            Fat intake must be 25-35 percent of the daily calories                      

Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes

No change after six weeks? Add to the program 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily in addition to 2 grams of sterols or plant stanols.

The TLC Diet Provisions:

Low-fat dairy products; fruits; fish; whole grains; vegetables; meat (no skin)

The Good Side of the TLC Diet:

Endorsed by experts (American Heart Association)

Lowers cholesterol level 100 percent if followed diligently

Lowering cholesterol is also good for the heart          

May be combined with other diet programs

The Not-So-Good Side of the TLC Diet:

Having some knowledge about calories is important as tracking and calculating calorie percentages is required

Reading and understanding food labels is also required

The TLC diet lowers cholesterol levels, but is not a weight-loss program

All things considered, we must see the TLC, a highly recommended diet program, as a sure way of making a person healthy. It requires a lifetime commitment, so discipline is compulsory.

Maybe a better way to see the TLC Diet is to NOT think of it as a diet plan, but as a “manner of living.” After all, the word DIET originated from the Latin word “DIAETA,” meaning “way of life.”

 

 

 

 

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