Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding recently discussed the ways that health food can be mistaken for healthy food. Sometimes the packaging and labels make people think that health food will promote weight loss. This is often not true and health foods are often high calorie and marked up in price. Here, readers will understand some general dietary guidelines for looking beyond the labels and making responsible food choices.
Healthy Food means a Balanced Diet
There are many general guidelines to eating healthy food and a balanced diet. But the first thing you should do is see your doctor if you are struggling with weight loss. Many underlying health issues come from being overweight or obese, and these call for specific dietary needs. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding says it is always best to begin with your doctor. For example if you have high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes, your dietary needs will change based on those conditions.
Building a Balanced Diet
After you have consulted your doctor, seek to include these components into your healthy food diet:
- Fruits and vegetables. Always choose whole fruits over juices, but don’t worry if you can’t get fresh. Frozen, canned and dried fruits are just as healthy. When it comes to vegetables, make sure to include a variety of colors and textures in your food.
- Whole grains. Aim for about half your grain intake to be whole grains. Look for “100% whole grain” on the label or for the first ingredient to be whole grain.
- Dairy products. There are many healthy dairy choices such as Greek yogurt, hard or soft cheeses and milk. Always choose low-fat or fat-free options in dairy foods.
- Protein. Make sure you get a wide variety of protein in your diet. When choosing meats, opt for lean cuts. Include nuts and beans, seafood and eggs as well.
How much of each type of food depends on your specific needs. Your doctor will help you understand how many calories you’ll need on a daily basis. Use a checklist or a food journal to keep track of your daily amounts. If your goal is to lose weight, subtract 500 calories a day.
Consultations with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding
Would you like to explore your weight loss options, including bariatric surgery? Contact Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding at the NYU Langone Weight Management Program. To learn more or to make an appointment, call 212-263-3166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.