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TLC Diet Menu plan and GuideLines

Nov 10, 2011 > Diet
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet was devised by the U.S. government's National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) to give guidance to people who have blood cholesterol problems. The TLC Diet doesn't have a recommendation for how many calories people with cholesterol problems should eat daily because calories don't affect cholesterol levels directly.

TLC Diet GuideLines

TLC Diet Guidelines -- you should eat:
  • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
  • 25-35 percent of the day’s total calories from fat.
  • Less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
  • Limit sodium intake to 2400 milligrams a day.
  • Just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and reduce your blood cholesterol level. (Ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a reasonable calorie level for you.)

TLC Diet Menu plan and GuideLines

How does the TLC Diet work?
Start by choosing your target calorie level. If your only concern is lowering LDL, the goal is 2,500 per day for men and 1,800 for women. Need to shed pounds, too? Shoot for 1,600 (men) or 1,200 (women). Then cut saturated fat to less than 7 percent of daily calories, which means eating less high-fat dairy, such as butter, and ditching fatty meats like salami. And consume no more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day—the amount in about 2 ounces of cheese. If after six weeks your LDL cholesterol hasn’t dropped by about 8 to 10 percent, add in 2 grams of plant stanols or sterols and 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber each day. (Soluble fiber and plant stanols and sterols help block the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, which helps lower LDL. Stanols and sterols are found in vegetable oils and certain types of margarine, and are available as supplements, too.) On TLC, you’ll be eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, and skin-off poultry. Exactly how you meet these guidelines is up to you, though sample meal plans are available.

TLC Diet Menu plan

Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet recommendations
Food group Number of servings Serving size

Lean meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, and dry peas

No more than 5 ounces total a day

  • 5 ounces maximum a day of lean meat, poultry, or fish
  • Substitute ¼ cup dry beans or peas for 1 ounce of meat.


No more than 2 yolks a week

1 whole egg. Egg whites or substitutes are not limited.

Low-fat milk and milk products

2–3 a day

  • 1 cup fat-free or 1% milk
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
  • 1 ounce nonfat or low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per ounce)


2–4 a day

  • 1 piece fruit, such as apple, orange, or ½ a banana
  • ½ cup canned fruit
  • 1 cup berries or melon
  • ¾ cup fruit juice


3–5 a day

  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • ½ cup cooked or raw vegetables
  • ¾ cup vegetable juice

Bread, cereals, pasta, rice, and other grains

At least 6 a day

  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ hot dog or hamburger bun, bagel, or English muffin
  • 1 ounce cold cereal
  • ½ cup cooked pasta, rice, noodles, or other grains

Sweets and snacks

Within calorie limit

Choose snacks that are low in fat or are made with unsaturated fat.

That's some stuff about TLC Diet Menu plan and GuideLines

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