Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet for Stroke Prevention and Recovery
TLC once stood for Tender Loving Care, and now it has a second meaning: Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. Created by the National Institutes of Health, the TLC program can help you prevent or recover from stroke by lowering your cholesterol and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. The program focuses on 3 key lifestyle factors: diet, exercise, and weight. In this article, we’ll break down the TLC Diet and cover the other two factors in a later post. Now, here’s what you need to know about the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, starting with the bad news and getting to the good stuff later.
Foods to Limit
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes regimen recommends that you cut back on fat – especially saturated fat and trans fat. Among other things, saturated fats can be found in high-fat cheeses, high-fat meats, butter, ice cream, and palm oil. Trans fats are hidden in common foods like microwave popcorn, biscuits, and deep fried foods. If you see the ingredient ‘partially hydrogenated oil,’ that’s trans fat.
We want to limit saturated and trans fats because they boost bad cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you want to fit some fats into your diet, opt for healthier monounsaturated fats that can be found in avocados, almonds, and olive oil.
What to Eat More Of
Bring on the fruits and veggies! The TLC guidelines suggest that you get 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. While that doesn’t sound too hard, sometimes it can be difficult to fit fresh food into a busy day. Check out our article here for some tips on sneaking more fruits and veggies into your day. We love fruits and veggies because they’re low-calorie and bursting with nutrients.
Carbs Are Good – Just Be Careful
Sounds too good to be true, right? But yes, carbs are good! The TLC guidelines recommend at least 6 servings of grains a day. We just want you to be careful about the way in which you’re getting your grains. Is your pasta mixed with high-fat meats and cheeses? That’s definitely not a TLC-friendly dish. But if your pasta is mixed with roasted veggies, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and low-fat tomato sauce, then we have a satisfying dinner that will show your body some real TLC (and this time we mean Tender Love and Care).
Why We Love ‘Clean Carbs’
Carbs are a TLC-friendly food because they’re usually low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat while being high in fiber. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet contains far too many processed grains like biscuits, bread, and pasta noodles that are usually doused with unhealthy fats and sauces. No thank you. Instead, we want clean carbs, which include nutrient-dense starches like quinoa, sweet potatoes, and legumes. These healthy carbs all contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber – unlike their processed alternatives. So when you have carbs, make it count!
By cutting the saturated and trans fats and boosting your intake of clean carbs, fruits, and veggies, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet can help you prevent or recover from stroke. So c’mon, who yourself a little TLC!