Is the TLC Diet Good for Weight Loss?

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The low fat diet pyramid

 

The TLC diet is one of the most well-known diet in the US today. Aside from being a government endorsed diet, it is not a fad diet and is geared towards reducing bad cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Institutes of Health made the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet. The American Heart Association highly recommends it because it significantly limits fat intake, particularly saturated fats.

The TLC Diet Theory

The TLC diet’s main objective is to lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol through restricting saturated fat from fried foods, fatty meat and whole milk dairy. The daily cholesterol intake should not go beyond 200 milligrams with only 7% and below from saturated fat. The calorie intake depends on the required per age, sex and activity level. Calories from fat should fall between 25% and 35%. In addition, sodium intake should also be limited to 2,400 milligram daily.

How Does it Work?

Eating  saturated fat is thought to cause an increase in LDL or bad cholesterol. Saturated fat solidifies at room temperature. Frequent intake can cause clogged arteries, which can later result to atherosclerosis (hardening  of the arteries).

The diet starts with determining your target calorie level. From there, follow the percentage of fat recommended in your diet. Be particular with your consumption of saturated fat and sodium. There are cases when LDLs do not drop after six weeks. In this case, you should add soluble fiber, sterols and stanols to your diet.

Benefits of the TLC Diet

This diet is recommended for those who have high cholesterol or those who have cardiovascular conditions. It conforms to the standard dietary guidelines and provides satiation due to a high fiber diet. There are no additional costs when taking on this diet.

Disadvantages of the TLC Diet

The diet may be difficult to follow because it would require you to calculate for the percentage of saturated fat in foods. Reading and scrutinizing nutrition labels can be time consuming and can be quite tedious.

If you are aiming to lose weight, the TLC diet may give you minimal results because it is not a guarantee that lowering your LDL levels will also lower your weight. Maximum weight loss could be achieved by adding a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Challenges of the TLC Diet

The diet requires a slightly higher aptitude in reading nutrition labels. Keeping your saturated fat intake can be quite tricky, so it is important to read nutrition labels carefully.

Being on a TLC diet can be quite challenging since low-fat foods can taste slightly different from regular ones. A multivitamin supplement or medication may also be recommended together with the diet plan.

When choosing the best diet, always take into consideration your purpose. The TLC diet fits those who need a heart-healthy diet that can provide the required daily nutrition. It is best for those at risk of a heart condition. Should you wish to shed pounds rather than cholesterol, it would be best to look for low calorie or low carb diets.

For more in-depth information on TLC diet, you may click on this link.

Photo credit: “MyPyramidFood” by United States Department of Agriculture – http://www.mypyramid.gov. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.



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