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A Heart Healthy Approach to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) advocates the following Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) to lower serum LDL-C (low density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels:

  • Dietary cholesterol <200 mg per day
  • Saturated fat <7% of total daily calories
  • Increase soluble (viscous) fiber intake to 10 – 25 grams daily
  • Consume at least 2 grams of plant stanols/sterols daily (not recommended for those with a condition called Sitosterolemia)
  • Increased physical activity to at least 200 Kcal per day.

Macronutrient component of the therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) recommended by NCEP ATP III include:

Macronutrient                                                                 Recommendation

Carbohydrate                                                                   50 - 60% of total daily calories

Protein                                                                               15% of total daily calories

Fat                                                                                        25 – 35% of total daily calories

Monounsaturated fat                                                       up to 20% of total daily calories

Polyunsaturated fat                                                        up to 10% of total daily calories

These therapeutic lifestyle changes, especially when combined with exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation, have been shown in lipid (Cholesterol) trials to reduce LDL-C (the bad cholesterol) and consequently, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke

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