Does Eating Healthy Cost More?

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One reason many people say they don’t eat as healthy as they’d like is that it costs so much more to buy the healthier foods at the grocery store. However, according to a new government study that just isn’t the case anymore. Buying fresh foods like fruits and veggies or whole grains normally costs less than the processed foods that are high in fat.

In this study, researchers took a look at over four thousand different types of foods around the country. They took into account different factors such as price per portion, price per calorie and edible weight.

Generally speaking, they found that based price per portion and portion size, the cheaper healthy foods are:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Veggies
  • Fruit

Less healthy foods and proteins come very close in price. So how can you combat this if you want to eat healthy and follow the government’s recommended dietary allowances? One way is to start thinking of your proteins as an addition to your meals rather than the main focus since meats and proteins are on the higher end. Focus on grains and fresh fruits and veggies that are topped off with or sprinkled with a protein that’s complimentary to the dish.  You can also substitute meats with other ingredients that offer similar nutritional value. Here’s a substitution guide from the Mayo Clinic.

One of the biggest things that you can do is to buy fruits and veggies that are in season and locally grown. Visit your local farmer’s markets. If you find produce that you aren’t used to cooking, that’s ok! Try it. It may become a new favorite, you’ll be helping your local farmers and you’ll eliminate extra costs that come from packaging and shipping. You can use this in-season produce map to find out what’s in season in your area at any given time. What’s even cooler is that it gives you information about each fruit or veggie and possible recipes that can be used with it.

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