Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet for High Cholesterol
People have varying degrees of success in lowering their cholesterol by changing their diets. People who have high cholesterol because they eat too many fatty foods may be able to lower their cholesterol 10% to 20% with diet changes alone, while others may only achieve a 5% to 8% reduction. Those who are most successful using diet changes to lower their cholesterol are those who lose excess weight. Diet changes are usually the first step in lowering cholesterol before medicines are added.
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.1
The diet's main focus is to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat, because saturated fat elevates your cholesterol. You can reduce the saturated fat in your diet by limiting the amount of meat and milk products you eat. Choose low-fat products from those food groups instead. Replace most of the animal fat in your diet with unsaturated fat, especially monounsaturated oils, such as olive, canola, or peanut oil. Monounsaturated fat lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol if it is substituted for saturated fat and keeps HDL ("good") cholesterol up.
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What can you eat?
The TLC diet recommends that you eat specific amounts of different types of foods. These amounts are sometimes a percentage of your total calorie intake for each day.
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