Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes are the changes in diet and lifestyle that can help you lower cholesterol. They are precisely based on diet, exercise, weight reduction and cessation of smoking.
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) is the National Cholesterol Education developed by a division of National Institute of Health.
- Saturated fats < 7% of total calories
- Dietary cholesterol < 200 mg /day
- Fat intake of 25 to 35% of total calories
- Replace saturated fats with carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes and fruits.
- Replace unsaturated fats from fish, vegetables oils and nuts.
- Avoid food products with trans fatty acids.
- Choose foods high in soluble fibers like oats, barley, beans and fruits.
- Consume food products containing added plant sterols or stanols regularly.
- To reduce Blood pressure chooses diet high in fruits and vegetables, low fat milk products and nuts and whole grains.
- Limit sodium to 2400 mg/day.
- Fish can be consumed regularly.
- If alcohol is consumed, it should be 1 drink daily by women and 2 drinks daily by men.
- Smoking Cessation
- Physical activity: At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity endurance activity should be undertaken on most days f the week.
Weight Reduction: Goal of Weight management should be to prevent weight gain, reduce body weight and maintain lower body weight for long time.
Implementing a Heart Healthy Diet:
Making few changes in normal diet can be enough in implementing heart healthy diet. Focusing on ‘What can be eaten’ instead of ‘what cannot be eaten’ would be correct and beneficial approach.
Bread, Cereals and Pasta:
- Choosing whole grains and pasta. Reading nutrition label will help. Choosing the product, whose first ingredient is labeled as “whole wheat” and not as “enriched wheat flour.”
- Avoiding food products with trans fatty.
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Stocking lots of fruits and vegetables at home will make it easier to make healthful choices
- Incorporate at least one or two servings of fruits and vegetables in each meal.
- Choose canned products carefully, they may be high in sodium.
- Restricting high sodium food such as pickles, olives, sauerkraut and kimchi.
- Avoiding French fries and fast food restaurants.
Lunch and Dinner Entrees:
- Limit meat, fish and poultry servings to a maximum intake of 5 ounces per day.
- Select lean cuts of beef such as sirloin tip, round streak, and arm roast and lean cuts of pork such as center cut ham, loin chops and tenderloin. Trim visible fats.
- Select extra lean ground meat. Use lean ground turkey without skin added instead of ground beef.
- Limit cholesterol rich organs meats (liver, brain, sweetbreads) and shrimp.
- Limit egg yolks to no more than 2 per week as yolks are very high in cholesterol.
- Include more vegetarian entrees or legumes dishes to boost soluble fiber and lower saturated fat intakes.
- Restrict following high sodium foods: Cured or smoked meats such as beef jerky, bologna, corned or chipped beef, frankfurters, ham, luncheon meats, alt pork and sausage. Salty or smokes fish like anchovies, caviar, salted or dried cod, herring sardines and smoked salmon. Packaged canned or frozen soups, sauces and entrees.
- Including fat free or low fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese in each meal.
- Using yogurt or fat free sour cream to make dips or salad dressings.
Fat and Oils:
- Add nuts and avocados to meals to increase mono saturated fat intake.
- Include vegetable oils in salad dressings and recipe such as canola, corn, olive, peanut oil, safflower, soybean, sesame and sunflower oil.
- Avoid stick margarine and solid vegetable shortenings.
- Avoid products that contain tropical oil like coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil.
Spices and Seasonings:
- Use salt only at the end of cooking.
- Spices and seasonings improve the flavor of foods without adding sodium. Use of garlic, basil, ginger, cumin, curry powder, chili powder, lemon, mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme enhances flavor cutting down on salt.
- Check sodium content on labels.
Snacks and Desserts:
- Select low sodium and low saturated fat choices like unsalted pretzels and nuts, plain popcorn, and unsalted chips and crackers.
- Choose fruits as dessert.
- Enjoy Angel food cake, which is made with egg yolks and added fats.
- Select low sodium frozen desserts such as sherbet, sorbet, fruit bars and some low fat ice creams.