EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
America is a nation in which obesity and unhealthy dietary decisions run rampant. According to the most recent statistics published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over 70 percent of Americans are now considered overweight or obese, and approximately one in three children falls into the same category. Relative to other industrialized nations, these statics are alarming and show no signs of stopping.
Almost everywhere we turn, we are faced with dietary toxins and temptations. From the fast food restaurants that line city streets, to the processed food items sold on supermarket shelves, our society is a major producer and consumer of junk. Fast-pace, on-the-go lifestyles make it difficult for many people to choose healthy, nutritious foods. And even for those who have the luxury of time, budgetary concerns are often an issue. But they don’t have to be!
Many people assume that health-conscious eating requires deep pockets; however, it is entirely possible to eat healthy on a tight budget. The following are some excellent tips for doing just that:
Home cooked meals
Although fast food restaurants offer the convenience of low-priced meals on-the-go, their selections are often based on fried, sugary, or heavily processed food items. It may help reduce financial concerns to eat a burger, fries, and a coke for $3.99 every day at lunch, but the far-reaching health consequences are not worth it. The medical expenses and general lower quality of life that result from poor dietary habits end up being not worth the short-term savings. By choosing natural, organic, and minimally processed groceries including fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, dairy, and grains, you will have an excellent foundation for healthy, home-cooked meals that will not create unnecessary health risks or minimize your enjoyment of life in any way.
Choosing wisely at the market
There is no shortage of budget-friendly health foods available at a variety of markets. Farmer’s markets, local produce vendors, and a wide variety of supermarkets all offer discounted health foods and an impressive selection to choose from. Web-based shopping options also feature an incredible variety of organic and specialty health foods to satisfy any budget and taste. By making a pre-planned list of dietary staples, you can create a flexible diet that will best serve you and/or your family’s need.
Cost effective foods
Compared to decades past, health-conscious foods now exist within a more competitive, price-friendly arena. The smartest way to go about purchasing healthy (preferably organic) foods is to compare prices. For example, medium-sized organic avocados sold at Whole Foods might average $2.99 per fruit, when compared to $1.69 from the local farmer’s market or produce vendor. Prices among other dietary staples may vary just as drastically—a fact that adds significantly to the price of food over time. Many educated consumers are able to satisfy all of their dietary needs by putting a little extra time and effort into comparison Even premium wholesale shopping clubs like Costco and BJ’s now offer a selection of healthy, organic foods at rock-bottom prices. So there is never a reason to hide behind the outdated excuse of “I can’t find anything healthy at a reasonable price!”