Approved by the American Heart Association, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, known as the TLC Diet, restricts animal fats and encourages a healthy lifestyle for a healthier lifestyle. offers the these health facts, tips, and advice to help you decided if the diet is for you:

The TLC diet is based on consuming the amount of calories you need to maintain your ideal body weight. You and your doctor or a nutritionist should determine what your ideal daily calorie intake should be. That will depend on your sex, height, activity level, and other factors.

How you assign those calories is key, especially if you’re hoping for some weight loss. Under the TLC guidelines, you should:

Keep your intake of saturated fat below 7 percent of your total calories for the day and overall fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of the calories you consume.

Keep your total daily cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams.

Limit your sodium intake to 2400 mg a day.

Increase your physical activity — get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

You also may need to increase the amount of soluble fiber you eat and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.

If the diet and exercise do not lower your unhealthy LDL cholesterol, you may want to talk to your doctor about takingcholesterol-lowering drugs as well.

How the TLC Diet works

Research shows that saturated fats in our diet can increase the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies. The TLC Diet is designed to minimize the amount of saturated fats you consume to help you lower your cholesterol. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and come from animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. They also come from some plants, such as coconuts and palm. Processed foods such as peanut butter can be very high in saturated fats and should be limited, if not avoided.

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Healthier unsaturated fats include olive oil, peanut oil, and canola oil.

The TLC Diet: Pros

The diet is simple and easy to follow.

It can help lower cholesterol.

The diet is suitable for most people. “I can’t think of anyone where it would be an issue,” Moore says.

The TLC Diet: Cons

The diet is more for people who need to lower their cholesterol than achieve weight loss.

You may feel hungry if you follow this diet religiously.

You must learn to read nutrition labels and calculate percentages of saturated fat in the foods you eat.

You still may need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

The TLC Diet isn’t a quick fix, but people who follow the TLC Diet can lose weight and lower their cholesterol over time.

To be most successful with this diet, you also must adopt a healthy lifestyle — exercise nearly every day and do not smoke or drink alcohol in excess. See your doctor regularly and know your cholesterol levels and other numbers such as blood pressure and heart rate.

You can follow the diet more easily if you stock your kitchen with the proper foods. Add healthy basics you’ll use every day, such as whole grains and olive oil, and eliminate some of the foods that led to your having high cholesterol in the first place.

You can indulge occasionally and still benefit from the TLC Diet.