Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet is a way to eat that lowers cholesterol. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart problems.

The TLC diet calls for:

  • Less than 7% of daily calories from saturated fat.
  • No more than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol a day.
  • 25% to 35% of daily calories from fat, mainly from unsaturated fat. Most of the fat should be monounsaturated, and only 10% should be polyunsaturated fat.
  • Only 2,400 mg of sodium a day.
  • Just enough calories to maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight gain.

The TLC diet is part of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes program, which aims to lower cholesterol through diet, exercise, weight loss if needed, and other changes, such as quitting smoking. It is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Last Updated: July 11, 2008

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

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