This is one of the few food plans that health experts from around the world systematically classify as one of the best diets.
It is designed to help promote better heart health and reduce cholesterol levels by combining healthy eating patterns with lifestyle modifications and strategies to control weight.
In addition, it can also be effective in treating other conditions by lowering blood sugar, controlling blood pressure levels and keeping your waist under control.
This article reviews the TLC diet, its possible benefits and disadvantages.
What is the TLC diet?
The TLC diet, or the diet of therapeutic changes in lifestyle, is a healthy eating plan designed to improve heart health.
It was developed by the National Institutes of Health to help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The goal of the diet is to minimize blood levels of total “bad” LDL cholesterol to keep arteries clear and optimize heart health.
It works by combining components of diet, exercise and weight control to help protect against heart disease.
Unlike other diet programs, the FTA diet is intended to be followed long term and should be considered more as a lifestyle change rather than a fad diet.
In addition to reducing cholesterol levels, the TLC diet has been associated with a host of other health benefits, from improved immune function to reducing oxidative stress and more.
The TLC diet is a heart-healthy eating plan designed to improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels.
How does it work?
The TLC diet involves a combination of diet and lifestyle modifications that have been shown to help improve heart health.
In particular, it involves changing the types of fat you consume and increasing the intake of health-promoting compounds, such as soluble fiber and plant sterols, which can help lower cholesterol levels.
It also combines changes in diet with increased physical activity to help control weight and strengthen the heart muscle.
The main guidelines for following the FTA diet include:
Eat only enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.
25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from fat.
Less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats.
The intake of cholesterol in the diet should be limited to less than 200 mg per day.
Try 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber a day.
Consume at least 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols each day.
Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day.
Following the FTA diet generally involves increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to increase your fiber intake.
It is also recommended to add 30 minutes of physical activity per day to your routine, which may include activities such as:
Meanwhile, you should limit foods high in fat and high in cholesterol such as fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, egg yolks and processed foods to keep them within the recommended daily allowance, which helps maximize results.
The TLC diet consists of combining weight control, physical activity and changes in diet to optimize heart health.
Heart health and other benefits
The TLC diet is designed to help reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In a 32-day study of 36 people with high cholesterol, the TLC diet was able to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 11%.
Another study found that following the TLC diet for six weeks led to significant reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, especially in men.
One of the ways it works is by promoting an increase in the consumption of soluble fiber, which has been linked to lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease.
The TLC diet also recommends consuming plant sterols and stanols.
These are natural compounds present in foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds that have been shown to lower blood levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Incorporating exercise into your routine and moderating your saturated fat intake can also help keep your LDL cholesterol levels under control.
In addition to helping reduce cholesterol levels, the TLC diet has been associated with a host of other health benefits, including:
Improvement of the immunological function: a small study in 18 people showed that following a diet of TLC improved the immune function in older adults with high cholesterol.
Promote weight loss: getting regular exercise, keeping your calorie intake in check and increasing your intake of soluble fiber can be all effective strategies to help promote sustainable weight loss.
Stabilization of blood sugar: The TLC diet includes an increase in the intake of soluble fiber, which can decrease the absorption of blood sugar to help control blood sugar levels.
Reduction of oxidative stress: a study in 31 adults with diabetes showed that following a diet of TLC with a high content of legumes reduced oxidative stress, which is believed to be related to the development of chronic diseases.
Reduction of blood pressure: Studies show that increasing the intake of soluble fiber can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
The TLC diet can help reduce cholesterol levels and has been linked to benefits such as increased weight loss, decreased blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress and improved immune function.
Although the TLC diet may be a useful tool to help improve heart health, it may be associated with some potential disadvantages.
It can be a bit difficult to follow and may require you to track your intake carefully to make sure you meet the strict guidelines set for dietary cholesterol, saturated fats and soluble fiber.
In addition, several guidelines included in the diet can be based on outdated research, which calls into question their need.
For example, the FTA diet recommends limiting the intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day.
Although it was thought that dietary cholesterol played a role in heart health, most research now shows that it has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels for most people.
In addition, the TLC diet also recommends minimizing saturated fats in the diet.
While saturated fats can increase “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, research shows that they can also raise “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood, which can be beneficial for heart health.
In addition, several important reviews have shown that the reduction of saturated fat consumption is not linked to a lower risk of heart disease or death from heart disease.
The diet of TLC can be difficult to follow, and several components of the diet may not be necessary for most people.
Food to eat
The TLC diet should include a good amount of:
These foods are not only rich in many nutrients but also high in fiber to help you meet your daily needs.
The diet should also include moderate amounts of lean proteins such as fish, chicken and low-fat cuts of meat.
Here are some foods to include in the diet:
Fruits: apples, bananas, melons, oranges, pears, peaches, others.
Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, others.
Whole grains: barley, brown rice, couscous, oats, quinoa, others.
Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas.
Nuts: almonds, cashews, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, nuts, others.
Seeds: chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, others.
Red meats: lean cuts of beef, pork, lamb, others.
Birds: turkey without skin, chicken, others.
Fish and seafood: salmon, cod, flounder, haddock, others.
The TLC diet should include many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
The foods that should be avoided
People on a FTA diet are recommended to limit foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as fatty cuts of meat, processed meat products, egg yolks and dairy products.
Processed and fried foods should also be avoided to maintain the consumption of fats and calories within the recommended range.
Red meats: fatty cuts of veal, pork, lamb, others.
Processed meat: bacon, sausage, hot dogs, others.
Birds with fur: turkey, chicken, others.
Whole dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, others.
Processed foods: baked goods, cookies, cookies, potato chips, others.
Fried foods: fries, donuts, egg rolls, others.
Foods rich in fat and cholesterol should be avoided in the TLC diet, including high-fat animal products and processed foods.
The bottom line
The TLC diet combines diet and exercise to achieve long-term lifestyle changes that help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
It can also improve immunity, oxidative stress and blood sugar levels.
The diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, while limiting foods high in fat and cholesterol.
When used as a lifestyle modification rather than a quick-fix or trendy diet, the TLC diet has the potential to have a powerful impact on long-term health.