The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet was developed with more than diabetics in mind. It is a diet that is recommended to people with high cholesterol, heart or other cardiovascular diseases and those that have been diagnosed with diabetes.
This diet consists of a set of guidelines that provide percentage ranges of what a patient should eat from each food group. The aim is to provide flexibility in choices while ensuring that the choices made are helpful to the condition that is being treated. In the beginning it is a good idea to partner with a dietician to ensure the calculations that you are making are accurate and that you are making the best food choice decisions.
The TLC diet provides the following eating guidelines:
- The total amount of fat that is eaten in a day should add up to less than 25-35% of the calories that are consumed
- Of the 25-35% fat intake it should be broken down into the following categories: saturated less than 7%; monounsaturated less than 20%; polyunsaturated 10%
- 50-60% of a day’s worth of calories should be derived from carbohydrates
- Eat at least 20-30 grams of high-quality fiber each day
- The protein consumed should equal 15-20% of the calories for the day
- Cholesterol should be limited and kept under 200mg per day
As the diet is a set of guidelines that do not include the calculations necessary to determine if you are meeting the requirements you should book an appointment with a dietician to understand what you need to do. Once you have been shown how to make the calculations and have been given a sample meal plan you can use those as a template to create many variations of the TLC diet. You can also glean much of this information by reading the food labels on packages.