Heart disease is the number-one killer in the United States. If you are at risk for it, or even if you've already been diagnosed with it, you need to take steps to improve your health now. The TLC diet incorporates small, progressive changes in diet, activity level, and weight that, put together, can help prevent heart disease and decrease the risk for associated complications, such as heart attack or stroke.
What Is the TLC Diet?
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor might have recommended that you check out the TLC diet. But what is it and how can it help you? "TLC" stands for "therapeutic lifestyle changes." This particular diet plan is not necessarily a weight loss plan. Instead, it focuses on cardiovascular health, particularly for those who need to lower their cholesterol through changes in their diet.
No one is immune to high cholesterol; it can affect anyone. This serious condition increases the risk for heart disease, the number-one killer of Americans. If you have high cholesterol, try not to panic -- there are steps you can take to lower it and improve your health.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) created the TLC diet, which consists of a three-part program that incorporates diet, physical activity, and weight management. In some cases, medications may be needed in combination with the TLC diet to help adequately lower blood cholesterol.
Keep in mind that since new cholesterol guidelines came out in 2013, some of the basic ideas used in the TLC diet, such as the way it calculates risk categories and uses goal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, are now outdated. But it is still a great heart-healthy diet. Looking for a diet that fits better with the new guidelines? You might consider the DASH diet.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Your guide to lowering your cholesterol with TLC. NIH Publication December 2005;06-5235.
Stone NJ, Robinson J, Lichtenstein AH, Bairey Merz CN, et al. 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013.S0735-1097(13)06028-2.
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