What is the TLC Diet

What is the TLC diet? The TLC diet stands for the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet

The TLC diet has become a popular diet in many countries, it was originally introduced by The National Institutes of Health’s Cholesterol Education Program. The TLC diet has been endorsed by the American Heart Asociation. The main goal of this diet is to cut back on all fats with a specific focus on reducing saturated fats.

Plate with Chicken Breast and Vegetables

The goal of this diet is to reduce cholesterol levels by 8 to 10 percent within 6 weeks. Of all diets, the TLC diet ranks #4 overall out of 38 of the most popular diets.

How the TLC Diet Works

To begin you choose a target calorie level, your only concern should be lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. for men, the total calories consumed per day should be 2500 for women 1200. You should also cut your saturated fat intake to 7% of your total daily calories.  If your goal is to reduce cholesterol and lose weight,  men should limit their calorie intake to 1,600 per day and women 1,200 per day.

In order to consume less than 7% fat per day, you should cut back on dairy products like milk and butter.  Try and avoid eating fatty meats like cold cuts, salami,  and red meats. Your max limit for cholesterol should be no more than 200 milligrams per day. If after 6 weeks your cholesterol has not dropped at least 8% the diet recommends adding 2 grams of plant sterols and stanols along with 10- 25 grams of soluble fibre.

Plant sterols and stanols include the following:

  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat bran
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Vegetable oils (corn, sesame, canola and olive oil)

While on this diet you can expect to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nonfat dairy products. The diet requires you eat no more than 5 ounces of lean skinless chicken, turkey or fish.

Recommended daily servings for all foods combined:

  • 5 ounces of skinless Turkey, Chicken or fish
  • 2 servings of low or nonfat dairy products
  • 4 servings of fruit
  • 3-5 servings of vegetables
  • 11 servings of whole grains which can include whole wheat bread, cereal, rice, bran and other healthy grains.

What to expect from the TLC diet

While the main purpose of this diet is to lower your cholesterol, people who have gone on this diet lost an average of 9.07 Kg (1.428 stone) The TLC diet is easy to follow but you do need to read nutritional labels to ensure you do not exceed the 7% of allowed saturated fats. You should not exceed the 200 milligrams of total fat per day.


This might not be the best diet for losing weight but it will help you lower your cholesterol. If you stick closely to the guidelines of this diet you should see a significant drop in cholesterol levels. The only downside to this diet is that you will have to do a lot of label reading to make sure you do not exceed the recommended daily allowance of fats and cholesterol.

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