Discusses Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) that may help you lower LDL cholesterol. Includes diet, exercise, and weight loss. Covers other changes such as stopping smoking and reducing stress. Discusses overall heart health.
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)
Things you can do
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
(TLC) may help you lower
LDL cholesterol. The lifestyle changes include diet,
exercise, weight loss, and other changes. Your doctor will want you to follow
TLC even if you are taking cholesterol-lowering medicine. And medicine will be
more effective if you have healthy eating and exercise habits.
Diet.Diets to lower cholesterol are low in fat—especially saturated fat—and
cholesterol. One of the best things you can do is reduce the amount of
saturated fat you eat.
Exercise. You may
need to change your exercise habits. Regular exercise, or no exercise, affects
your cholesterol level and your overall heart health. People who have an
active lifestyle have a lower risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) than do people who have
a sedentary lifestyle.
Weight loss. Excess
weight tends to increase your LDL cholesterol level. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds
(2.3 to 4.5 kilograms) can lower your cholesterol and
triglyceride levels. Eating a diet low in saturated
fat and cholesterol,
exercising regularly, and cutting calories will help
you lose weight.
Other lifestyle changes to think about. There are a number of other lifestyle changes that improve
cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of
atherosclerosis, and improve your general health.
Stop smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. Smoking decreases your
HDL ("good") cholesterol. Smoking is believed to
change LDL cholesterol to a form that promotes the buildup of deposits in the
walls of your coronary arteries. Smoking significantly increases your overall chances of
developing heart disease, because it damages your heart and blood
Reduce stress. Try to minimize stressful situations as much
as possible at work, at home, and elsewhere. You may also ask your doctor for
advice on ways to reduce stress.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2005). Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC (NIH Publication No. 06-5235). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.