Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)
Things you can do
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) may help you lower Reference LDL cholesterol Opens New Window. 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. Reference 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 Reference coronary artery disease (CAD) Opens New Window 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 Reference triglyceride Opens New Window levels. Eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Reference 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
Reference atherosclerosis Opens New Window, and improve your general health.
- Stop smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. Smoking decreases your Reference HDL ("good") cholesterol Opens New Window. 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 vessels.
- 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.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 18, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator