Since February is American Heart Month, we’d like to give your heart health a little TLC. High cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease. Fortunately, you can help heal yourself and restore healthy cholesterol levels through eating a heart-healthy diet.
What is the TLC diet? Created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet is endorsed by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy regimen that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The goal of the TLC diet is to significantly reduce high cholesterol within six weeks strictly through diet. The three-part program uses diet, physical activity, and weight management. Daily calories are limited to less than 7 percent from saturated fat and less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol.
Cutting back sharply on fat, particularly saturated fat such as fatty meats, whole-milk, pasteurized dairy and fried foods will help drastically reduce bad cholesterol, which in turn helps drastically lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Along with strictly limiting daily cholesterol intake, increasing fiber intake can also help people manage high cholesterol.
Check out the free TLC booklet published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to learn why cholesterol matters, how to determine your heart disease risk, and how to make heart healthy lifestyle changes that will ensure you enjoy good heart health for years to come.