Making a healthy diet more affordable isn’t out of reach for you. Everyone is always saying “eat healthily, introduce a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet”. Of course, after hearing it, you roll your eyes. Why? Let’s take avocado for example. This fruit is incredibly nutritious with more than twenty different vitamins and minerals. Depending on where you live, an avocado costs up to $9 per fruit, right? Then look at a cheeseburger! At a local fast food place, it costs a buck. One dollar. One stinking dollar. This makes healthy eating a challenge, leading many to decide for the latter option despite the fact that it can have an adverse impact on their health.
Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that reducing prices of healthy food for 10% could prevent more than 500,000 heart-related deaths and almost 700,000 heart attacks and strokes by 2035.
Making a healthy diet more affordable for you and your family
While you are waiting for the policymakers and manufacturers to make a change, you should still focus on your health and make the balanced diet more affordable. Here’s how.
Buy local food
Remember, local doesn’t mean shopping at your city’s supermarket. It means visiting local groceries for locally produced products. If your town has a farmer’s market this is an excellent chance to stock up on healthy food for a week or two. You can even time your shopping so that you get a better price. This means you should visit the market near to the closing time when the sellers want to get rid of their products so they don’t have to drive it back to their homes and sell them again tomorrow.
Try out the supermarket own brands
We are often snobby about buying supermarket own brands because they are significantly cheaper than other labels. However, cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean worse. Sometimes the large supermarket chains lower the prices of their own brands because they spend less on the packing and transport, or for other reasons, but the quality could be just as good as with the rest of the products on the shelves.
Don’t let food fads and trends fool you
Goji berries and coconut water have their advantages, but their prices can be too high for regular use. Instead, they should serve for an occasional treat, while the rest of your diet can rely on tried-and-true affordable healthy groceries such as tomato, sweet potato, bananas, melons, oranges, broccoli, and similar.
After a long day at work or school, ordering a pricey and unhealthy takeaway menu sounds like a good idea, but it never is. However, if you have some frozen fruits or veggies in your fridge, you can mix up a smoothie or a healthy veggie-based lunch in a matter of minutes.
The best thing about it is that freezing up fruits and vegetables doesn’t take away any of their vitamins. In fact, the freezing stops nutritional depletion, which causes a bag of frozen goods to be even more vitamin-packed than fresh products, while still being cheaper.
Get everything you need, but pay attention to the price
A healthy diet is rarely a mere combination of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. In today’s hectic times when health hazards are lurking behind every corner and when it is difficult to meet our nutritional expectations, it is vital to compensate for the deficit of certain nutrients. Many people decide to do that with expensive supplements, but the price tag isn’t what defines a quality of a product.
The ingredients and the reputation of the manufacturer are. For example, it is quite possible to find a quality yet affordable bone health support which enhances antioxidant enzyme activity with active and natural ingredients, but you need to invest time to do your research.
Compare the price and the nutritional value of each product
So, you have come to the conclusion that your organism is lacking potassium, and you have read somewhere that nectarines provide a plentiful of this mineral? While that is true, it is also true that you would get the most bang for your buck if you choose bananas.
Nectarines contain more potassium per calorie than bananas, but bananas are significantly cheaper which compensates the minor amount of this mineral. Do a similar calculation with other foods to learn what is best for you.
It is wonderful to get a big bowl of fresh strawberries in the middle of the winter. You can eat them alone or blend them in a smoothie. But this is possible only if you spend a lot of money at the grocery store because buying fruits and veggies outside their season can be really costly. Buying certain foods when their supply is high means it costs less to produce them, and the price is lower for you as well. Furthermore, in the height of the season, fruits and veggies taste better too.
The future of this planet depends on the health of its people, and we can only hope that the governments and manufacturers will promote health and safety by making healthy food accessible to all. Until then, you can do your part to keep yourself and your family healthy by following these tips.
Author bio: Caitlin is a bookworm, photographer, and dancer. She is also a medical student, especially interested in nutrition and wellbeing. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Cate is researching and writing about various health and beauty topics. Happily, her addictions: art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and hiking. To see what Caitlin is up to next, check out her Twitter.