Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding on Understanding Health Foods

“Health Foods” Are Not Always “Healthy”

Many people who are trying to lose weight are drawn to the health food aisle in grocery stores. And it makes sense: the labels on many products labeled “health foods” are convincing, even inspiring. But many of those foods are not as healthy as they appear. In this article, Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding explains some of the misconceptions about health food.

The Trickery of the Health Food Aisle

When people are on a weight loss journey, one of their first stops is the health food aisle. The way health food is packaged leads us to believe that it will be food for you and help you lose weight. But just because something is organic doesn’t mean it is healthy. So why don’t any and all health foods lead to good health?

  • Everything in moderation. On their own, health foods won’t lead you to weight loss or a healthy existence. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding tells her patients to do their homework and speak to a doctor. A mindful approach to choosing ingredients is your best bet. Plus, exercise is a must when weight loss is the goal.
  • High calorie is not helpful. Many of the health foods on the market are in fact very high calorie. Some were originally aimed at athletes, which would not be appropriate for people trying to lose weight. Many popular health food ingredients are quite dense in calories, containing various seeds and nuts for example.
  • Expensive does not mean healthy. Research studies show that people are willing to pay more for health food. This is because people have grown to trust health food when they shouldn’t. Nutrition-wise, you could buy an equally healthy box of cereal in the regular breakfast section as you could from the health food aisle.

It is important to choose foods that help you maintain a balanced diet. If it seems too good to be true or too easy, it probably is. Healthy food combines the right amount of protein, vegetables and vitamins. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding suggests her patients become avid label-readers, so they can educate themselves about responsible ingredients.

Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Weight Management ProgramWeight Loss with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding

Do you or a loved one need help understanding your weight loss options? Please contact the NYU Langone Weight Management Program for an appointment with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding. Call 212-263-3166 or email weightloss@nyumc.org for more information on how our medical teams can guide you to better health.


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