Student Life Editor
Fad diets come and go for a reason: most people find they aren’t effective, bring no results and don’t make them happy.
Keene State College dietetic interns argued rather than living a life revolved around a diet that may be sure to fail, students should concern themselves with lifestyle changes.
On Friday, Feb. 22, KSC 2013 dietetic interns Haley Lydstone and Krysta Butkus presented the developing Therapeutic Lifestyle Change plan, or TLC. A small crowd of professors and KSC faculty gathered in Huntress Hall for a pre-lunch snack as the interns prepared a quinoa salad.
According to the interns, TLC addresses risk factors for one’s heart that are within the individual’s control.
For example, smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol and weight problems.
The lifestyle promotes a variety of healthy foods to create a well-rounded diet.
“It’s therapy for your heart,” Lydstone said, “It’s a lifestyle change, it’s not a diet.”
Butkus stated, “A lot of people in the U.S. are struggling to follow a healthy diet. We’re here to help you achieve that goal.”
Lydstone continued, “The TLC is designed for those at risk for heart disease but it can work for any person. Just because you don’t have heart issues doesn’t mean this isn’t an important meal pattern for anyone.”
Based off of a 2,000 calorie diet, Lydstone and Butkus shared TLC’s guidelines for a heart healthy diet. They focused specifically on the consumption of fats: saturated fats, trans fats, as well as cholesterol and sodium intake.
Butkus explained, “This meal plan suggests consuming less than seven percent of your total calories from saturated fat. This would be about 140 calories a day of saturated fat. For fat, the TLC meal platter recommends consuming 25-35 percent total calories from fat. That would be between 500-700 calories per day.”
She continued, “It’s important to mention too that this 25-35 percent included the seven percent from your saturated fat.”
On the subject of fat consumption, Lydstone said consumers get their fat from animals and plants.
To decrease fat consumption, Butkus suggested avoiding condiments such as mayo and butter for sandwiches.
One recommendation she shared was that instead of mayonnaise, use the creamy consistency of an avocado or olive oil as a substitute for butter.
She also recommended that when dining out, always ask for dressing on the side.
“That’s going to cut a lot of added calories from your diet,” Butkus said.
Lydstone delved into TLC’s sodium intake goals.
Regarding sodium, Butkus put into perspective the diet’s recommendation of 2,300 milligrams a day is equivalent to one teaspoon.
“That’s not a whole lot of salt,” she said.
“Avoid deli meats,” Butkus said, “That stuff behind the counter has lots and lots of sodium in it. Certain cheeses-specifically American, and my favorite, feta, has tons of sodium in it.”
She further stated canned goods and processed foods contain extra amounts of sodium.
“If you’re concerned about the sodium content in any food it’s good to just look at the label and check out the numbers,” she said, “Also, avoid the salt shaker. Although the amount of salt from the shaker that we add to our food is kind of small, salt is in everything we eat already. If you can and you’re willing, take your salt shaker off your table.”
Lydstone suggested replacing salt with spices and herbs for seasoning.
For meat, the interns suggested adding nutmeg, onion, bay leaf, sage, pepper or thyme for extra seasoning.
For things like poultry: orange, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary and for fish: curry powder, dill, dry mustard, lemon juice and pepper.
“Lime in place of salt is really good, too,” Butkus added.
For KSC students with a meal plan, Lydstone suggested looking at the Zorn Dining Commons’ website for their weekly menu.
“Let’s say it’s chicken parm night, maybe that’s a night where you mix it up. You know the sandwich line may not be too busy so you can mix it up. You can get a salad and get the grilled chicken from the sandwich line to put on top of it,” Lydstone continued, “I think the best thing to do is just to mix and match things.”
“It never hurts to just ask for something,” Butkus said.
Within the presentation, the interns challenged their participants to choose a heart healthy lunch off an Olive Garden menu. From there, Butkus and Lydstone shared with the group their personal tips to staying healthy while eating out.
“Avoid the cream sauce on pasta, or at least ask for it on the side,” Lydstone said.
“Know that you’re not just stuck with what’s on the menu,” Butkus said, “You have to speak up and ask for what you’d like.”
Lydstone also said to be sure to taste your food before you go for the salt because often times restaurant food is already well seasoned.
Karyn Kaminski from KSC Human Resources attended the event. “They made learning this fun with their interaction and activity,” she commented, “The info about the TLC diet is great.”
Just knowing the right amounts to consume and the good fat versus bad fat will have an impact on what we eat and our heart and overall health. It’s about a lifestyle change.”
For most college students, the thought of actually getting older one day is so distant that it’s just too much to comprehend.
But as Lydstone and Butkus proved, taking care of one’s heart is essential, and even easy.
And if there’s one thing college students are sure to know how to do, it’s living in the moment, so why not take a moment and take care of your heart?
Julie Conlon can be contacted at