The TLC-diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) was approved by the American Heart Association as a special nutritional system that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The central idea of this program is to reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol due to a sharp reduction in the amount of consumed fat and an increase in the proportion of fiber and carbohydrates in the diet.
According to the recommendations of experts on TLC-diet, the proportion of saturated fat in the menu should be no more than 7% of the daily calorie intake, so that no more than 200 mg of cholesterol is ingested. The main part of the diet is cereal products, vegetables, fruits, as well as skimmed milk, poultry and low-fat fish.
Estimated number of foods per day recommended on a TLC diet:
* Minimum meat (chicken without skin, turkey, lean fish) - no more than 140 g per day.
* Skimmed milk - 2-3 servings per day.
* Fruit - up to 4 servings per day.
* Vegetables - 3-5 servings per day.
* Cereals (buckwheat, rice, pasta, whole wheat bread) - 6-11 servings per day.
Who can approach TLC-diet?
According to Nutritionist Natalia Afanasieva, this type of food will be useful to those who really have reason to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. In particular, these are patients with diagnosed cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, prerequisites for heart attack, stroke, the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, etc.). "Also, this diet can help people with overweight when the IC is over 35. Or, those who have sharply jumped cholesterol levels, and the numbers are constantly growing," - said the expert.
Alla Pogozheva, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher of FGBUN “FITS of Nutrition and Biotechnology He also adds that a low-fat diet is indicated for patients with type 2 hyperlipidymia (an abnormal increase in blood lipids), fatty liver, chronic cholecystitis, and pancreatitis.
At the same time, as Natalya Afanasyev emphasizes, the TLC-diet, like any other restrictive diet, should be observed for at least 2 months. “This time will provide an adequate biochemical response from the body. And then you need to repeat the tests and see if there is a positive trend, whether something needs to be corrected, ”explains the nutritionist.
However, as the expert emphasizes, in 6-12 months it is still better to return to a normal diet, while retaining new, healthy habits. “If at the stage of treatment we can choose some non-physiological combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, then such a diet cannot be used for long-term use,” she says.
What are the weaknesses of the TLC-diet?
According to experts, the main "minus" of the TLC-diet is that it is not sufficiently balanced. In the diet there is a clear bias in the direction of carbohydrates in the form of grains and fruits, while the amount of fats and proteins of animal origin is sharply reduced. As Alla Pogozheva emphasizes, the lack of animal fat in this nutritional system can be compensated for with a sufficient amount of vegetable fat. But with portions of carbohydrate foods should be careful.
"A large number of bakery and cereals can increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes," - says the expert. As Nataliya Afanasyev adds, the abundance of carbohydrate foods in the diet can provoke digestive problems, causing fermentation processes in the intestines.
According to the nutritionist, in general, the daily rate of whole-grain products should be no more than 2 cups (1 cup - 250 mg), and fruit - 2-3 pieces. “Even if you remove any one component in the diet, there should not be a strong bias. That is, an increase in the amount of carbohydrates by 2-3 times is not very good, ”adds Natalia Afanasyev. And in order to track down the possible negative effects of the diet, the expert advises to keep a food diary in which you can record the amount of food eaten and your well-being.
If you do not have strict medical indications for the TLC-diet, then to correct the level of cholesterol in the blood, it is better to simply switch to the “classic” healthy diet, where the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is balanced. “Cholesterol is not only cholesterol plaques that everyone knows about. Cholesterol plays a huge role in hormone production, in digestion, in liver function, in all fat metabolism. And when we decide to reduce it, we need to understand what other functions this may affect and whether we should do it now, ”emphasizes Natalia Afanasyev.
Who should not try the TLC-diet?
According to experts, there are those categories of people who low-fat diet can cause significant harm. So, according to Natalia Afanasyeva, TLC diets should not be adhered to young people under the age of 20 years, because cholesterol is actively involved in the development of the body, the formation of the reproductive system. Also, low-fat diet is contraindicated for people with underweight, digestive problems and those who are planning a pregnancy. “You shouldn’t be on such a diet for older people. Provided that all the basic processes of their body (blood pressure, digestion) are normal. Older people saturated fats are essential for maintaining the body, ”explains the specialist. Alla Pogozheva adds that a low-fat diet is not suitable for patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as for patients with hyperlipidemia 2 "b" and type 4.