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The “TLC” diet or the “total low cholesterol” diet is a diet for lowering cholesterol. This was presented by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last May of 2001 as a new diet guideline for those who have high blood cholesterol and are at risk of heart disease. This new diet for lowering cholesterol was also endorsed by the American Heart Association and added it as one of its substance on dietary and lifestyle change for individuals who have high blood cholesterol. 

Did you come across something while reading which is totally in contrast to what you thought it to be? Did you wonder which ones are facts and which ones are just “popular” beliefs? 

Here’s to our enlightenment!

Myth 1: Older people are the only ones with Cholesterol problems.
Definitely not…Cholesterol checks are greatly advised to people over 20 years old who are more likely prone to have these problems. These tests should be done at least once in every five years to prevent health risks and avoid dangerous complications in the future.

Myth 2: My Cholesterol level should be fine because I don’t feel sick and I exercise a lot.
There are NO symptoms if your Cholesterol level is too high. Aside from exercise, other factors influence these levels. Some of which are diet, weight, age and gender, heredity, and some other causes like medications.

Myth 3: High vitamin C and E intake, known as anti-oxidants, can reduce my cholesterol.
Not true…Like what was said previously, several factors affect the levels of Cholesterol. Medication, as with vitamin intake, is only one of your many options. The most effective thing you can start working on would be to change your eating habits and indulge in more physical activities. 

Myth 4: Two glasses of red wine a day makes the heart disease go away.
In contrast to some studies made about moderate amount of alcohol increasing one’s HDL, known facts also suggest that alcohol is high in calories which may boost the triglycerides, impairing the liver, thus increasing the body’s blood pressure.

Myth 5: Health-friendly products are those with “no cholesterol” labels.
Not exactly…While some of these products claim not to contain Cholesterol, they may still be high in saturated fats which are the main culprits in increasing the body’s LDL.

Myth 6: Trying to lower down your Cholesterol level is unsafe.
The body, particularly the liver, normally produces just about enough Cholesterol necessary to perform its functions. Changing one’s lifestyle, particularly his diet, and engaging in some physical activities are highly advisable and are proven ways to lower down one’s Cholesterol level.

 Myth 7: Overweight people are the only ones who should be concerned about high Cholesterol levels.
Certainly not…They may be prone targets but this doesn’t mean non-overweight individuals are spared the worry. As what was being discussed early on, there are no symptoms for heart disease brought about by high levels of Cholesterol. Good diet and some exercise are good steps to avoiding having these health risks.  

Below are food groups and some information with some tips that are useful in your diet for lowering cholesterol:

Choose skinless poultry or remove the skin before eating or cooking. 

Fish have less saturated fat than chicken or meat

Limit your total amount of lean meat, fish, shellfish or chicken intake daily. Even the thinnest meat has saturated fat.

When shopping for poultry choose chicken and turkey. These are low in saturated fat. Buy chicken or turkey with the skin is removed.

Avoid goose and duck; even with the skin removed they still are high in saturated fat.

Chicken and turkey hot dogs have less saturated fat and total fat than pork and beef hot dogs.

When choosing between fish and meat or poultry, choose fish. Fish have less saturated fat than meat and poultry.

Substitute meat with dry peas, beans or tofu. These have less saturated fat and cholesterol than meat. Dry peas and beans are rich in fiber which is good in lowering cholesterol. Add beans to pastas, casseroles, soups and vegetable dishes. Marinate tofu in a non fat dressing or in a spicy saucy. 

Grilling or baking meat is suggested. Avoid frying meat.

When cooking eggs, separated the egg yolk from the egg white. Egg yolks have high dietary cholesterol. 

Avoid baked goods that use egg yolks as an ingredient. If unavoidable, limit your intake of this kind of foods.

Substitute egg whites for egg yolks, egg whites contain zero cholesterol.

Whole milk, cheese and ice cream are high in saturated fat and cholesterol; instead buy non fat or low fat dairy goods.

In your diet for lowering cholesterol replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat.  Control the total amount of fats or oils and calories that you intake.

Use liquid vegetable oil such as canola, olive, peanut, corn, sunflower, soybean and sesame oil. These are high in unsaturated fats.

Limit butter, fatback, solid shortenings and lard. These are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.


In order for your diet for lowering cholesterol to be a success, you have got to be in control of your urge to eat the foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Also you must have regular exercise and an active and healthy lifestyle in order to have a desirable cholesterol level.

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