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Y O U R

G U I D E

T O

Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

YOUR

GUIDE TO

Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute NIH Publication No. 06–5235December 2005

Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Why Cholesterol Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 What Affects Cholesterol Levels? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Knowing Your Cholesterol Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Setting Your Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Treating High LDL Cholesterol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The TLC Diet: A Heart Healthy Eating Plan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Foods To Choose for TLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 30 Becoming Physically Active . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Maintaining a Healthy Weight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Sample Menus for TLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 The Metabolic Syndrome—A Special Concern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70Learning to Live the TLC Way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Keeping Track of Your Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Be Smart When You Start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Reward Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Making TLC aFamily Affair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 A Final Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 To Learn More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Contents

1

Introduction

High blood cholesterol can affect anyone. It’s a serious conditionthat increases the risk for heart disease, the number one killer of Americans—women and men. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk. Fortunately, if you have high blood cholesterol, there are steps you can take to lower it and protect your health. This booklet will show you how to take action by following the “TLC Program” for reducing high blood cholesterol. TLC standsfor Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, a three-part program that uses diet, physical activity, and weight management. Sometimes, drug treatment also is needed to lower blood cholesterol enough. But even then, the TLC Program should be followed. The booklet has four main sections: It explains why cholesterol matters and helps you find your heart disease risk; describes the TLC Program; talks about acondition called the metabolic syndrome that can also be treated with TLC; and offers advice on how to make heart healthy lifestyle changes. Within the sections you’ll find tips on such topics as how to: communicate better with your doctor and other health care professionals, read food labels, make and stick with lifestyle changes, plan heart healthy menus for the whole family, and make heart healthychoices when you eat out. Anyone can develop high blood cholesterol—everyone can take steps to lower it.

Introduction

2

Why Cholesterol Matters

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the walls of cells in all parts of the body, from the nervous system to the liver to the heart. The body uses cholesterol to make hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and other substances. The...
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