Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet (TLC)
By: Bruce Brightman - LifeSource Vitamins
Created by the National Institutes of Health's National Cholesterol
Education Program, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet (TLC) is endorsed
by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy regimen that can
reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The key is cutting back on fat, particularly saturated
fat. Saturated fat (think fatty meat, whole-milk dairy, and fried foods)
bumps up bad cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart attack and
stroke. That, along with strictly limiting daily dietary cholesterol intake
and getting more fiber can help people manage high cholesterol, often
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
and also add 10 to 25 grams of
each day. (Soluble fiber and plant 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
, 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
TLC Diet in a nutshell:
does not primarily target weight-loss; instead, it is for maintaining an
ideal body weight and determining the ideal daily calorie intake. TLC diet is based on a few basic guidelines as mentioned
Intake of saturated fat should be kept below 7 percent of the total
Daily cholesterol intake should be kept below 200 milligrams
Sodium intake must be limited to 2400 mg per day
25-35% of daily total calories should come from fat intake
Calorie intake should be kept to a level needed for maintaining healthy
Physical activity must be maintained regularly along with the diet,
i.e. at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Will you lose weight?
The TLC diet was designed to improve cholesterol levels, not for weight
loss. But research suggests that in general, low-fat diets tend to promote
Does it have cardiovascular benefits?
Yes. It reflects the medical community's widely accepted definition of a
heart-healthy diet. An eating pattern heavy on fruits, veggies, and whole
grains but light on saturated fat and salt is considered the best way to
keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check and heart disease at bay.
Can it prevent or control diabetes?
Little research has examined TLC's effect on diabetes. But the Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis study mentioned above
found TLC significantly lowered the fasting insulin levels of participants
with high cholesterol. That's important because elevated insulin levels can
predict whether someone will develop type 2 diabetes. (The
normal-cholesterol group didn't appreciably change their fasting insulin
levels.) In general, most experts consider an eating pattern like what TLC
promotes to be the gold standard of diabetes prevention-it emphasizes the
right foods and discourages the wrong ones.
Are there health risks?
No indications of serious risks or side effects have surfaced. The TLC
diet's eating pattern is safe for children and teens, too.
Here are the supplements:
Plant Sterols - Beta Sitosterol
Fiber - Phsyllium Husk Powder
Clear Fiber Powder
"We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived,
socially-isolated, fast-food-laden, frenetic pace of modern life."
- Stephen Ilardi, PhD
Across the industrialized modern world, clinical depression has reached
epidemic proportions, despite a staggering increase in the use of
antidepressant medication. In fact, researchers have identified a set of
illnesses that are pervasive across the Western world and yet rare among
aboriginal populations. Depression is now the single leading cause of
work-related disability for adults under 50. And yet there is strong
evidence that depression can be both prevented and treated through a set of
straightforward changes in lifestyle. Our research has demonstrated that
TLC is an effective treatment for depression, with over 70% of patients
experiencing a favorable response, as measured by symptom reduction of at
Dept. of Psychology, KU - University of Kansas
Lifestyle Changes as Treatment for Mental Health Concerns, Depression,
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 18, 2011
For years, health professionals have advocated lifestyle changes in the
form of diet, exercise and stress reduction to lower the risk of heart
disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
New research shows that lifestyle changes - such as getting more exercise,
spending more time in nature or helping others - can be as effective as
drugs or counseling for many mental health concerns.
A wide range of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, can be treated with certain lifestyle changes as successfully as diseases
such as diabetes and obesity, according to Roger Walsh, M.D., PhD., of The
University of California, Irvine's College of Medicine.
Walsh reviewed research on the effects of what he calls "therapeutic
lifestyle changes," or TLCs, including exercise, nutrition and diet,
relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious or
spiritual involvement, spending time in nature, and service to others.
Walsh reviewed research on TLCs' effectiveness and advantages, as well as
the psychological costs of spending too much time in front of the TV or
computer screen, not getting outdoors enough, and becoming socially
"Lifestyle changes can offer significant therapeutic advantages for
patients, therapists, and societies, yet are insufficiently appreciated,
taught or utilized," note the author. The paper describes TLCs as
effective, inexpensive and often enjoyable, with fewer side effects and
complications than medications.
"In the 21st century, therapeutic lifestyles may need to be a central focus
of mental, medical and public health," Walsh said.
According to research reviewed in the paper, the many often unrecognized
TLC benefits include:
Exercise not only helps people feel better by reducing anxiety and
depression. It can help children do better in school, improve cognitive
performance in adults, reduce age-related memory loss in the elderly,
and increase new neuron formation in the brain.
Diets rich in vegetables, fruits and fish may help school performance
in children, maintain cognitive functions in adults, as well as reduce
symptoms in affective and schizophrenic disorders.
Spending time in nature can promote cognitive functions and overall
Good relationships can reduce health risks ranging from the common cold
to strokes as well as multiple mental illnesses, and can enhance
psychological well-being dramatically.
Recreation and fun can reduce defensiveness and foster social skills.
Relaxation and stress management can treat a variety of anxiety,
insomnia, and panic disorders.
Meditation has many benefits. It can improve empathy, sensitivity and
emotional stability, reduce stress and burnout, and enhance cognitive
function and even brain size.
Religious and spiritual involvement that focuses on love and
forgiveness can reduce anxiety, depression and substance abuse, and
Contribution and service, or altruism, can enhance joy and generosity
by producing a "helper's high." Altruism also benefits both physical
and mental health, and perhaps even extends lifespan. A major exception
the paper notes is "caretaker burnout experienced by overwhelmed family
members caring for a demented spouse or parent."
Difficulties associated with using TLCs are the sustained effort they
require, and "a passive expectation that healing comes from an outside
authority or a pill," according to Walsh.
He also noted that people today must contend with a daily barrage of
psychologically sophisticated advertisements promoting unhealthy lifestyle
behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating fast food.
"You can never get enough of what you don't really want, but you can
certainly ruin your life and health trying," lamented Walsh.
For therapists, the study recommends learning more about the benefits of
TLCs, and devoting more time to foster patients' TLCs.
The paper recognizes that encouraging widespread adoption of therapeutic
lifestyles by the public is likely to require wide-scale measures
encompassing educational, mental, and public health systems, as well as
The findings are published in American Psychologist, the American
Psychological Association's flagship journal.
Source: American Psychological Association
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