This is the second of a two part post.
In the first part, we explained why it is cheaper to gain weight than it is to lose it. The price of taste and convenience has fallen mightily to unprecedented levels in the past 50 years. As a result people are now fatter than ever.
Today we’ll show you that it’s not necessarily more expensive to eat healthy.
If you can’t pay more, and don’t want to sacrifice taste, yet still want to eat healthy, you will have to inconvenience yourself just a tad. You’ll have to invest more thought and time into food than you do today. But heck, if you have time for 3 hours of TV and 2 hours on the web daily, surely you can find some time to take care of your body.
Here are some strategies to eat more healthily and pay less. (Annual savings are for a family of four).
1. Go H 2 O. Cut soft drinks from your shopping list. Tap water is safe to drink in the US. If you have babies and toddlers, get them used to water from an early age. DO NOT fall for the baby juice enticements, your child does not need them. Savings: $500.
2. Part time vegetarian. Once or twice a week switch from meat to eggs/legumes as a source of protein. That’s 60 pounds less per person per year. Eggs and beans are cheap and healthy sources of protein that can be prepared in endless healthy variations. Savings: $300-$800.
3. Help your self restraint. It’s hard to stop snacking if you’re pantry is full of junk food. So start at the supermarket – limit the amount of snacks you purchase to one or two favorites a week. At home, prepare in advance for attacks of the munchies by having home made goodies at hand – precut carrot sticks, unbuttered popcorn, a handful of nuts, and similar unprocessed items that provide additional benefits to your bodies. Savings:
4. Cook at home. The food industry makes its profit by processing basic ingredients into finished foods. along the way it adds unwanted chemicals in order to increase shelf life and compensate for loss of flavor. You get a mediocre product at a higher price than if you had prepared it yourself. Start with soup – make your own and see how easy and tasty it is. Savings: vary.
5. Train your tongue. the less you rely on processed foods, the more you can control the levels of sweet and salt in your food. Over the course of a month or two, start adding less and less salt or sugar to your food and hot drinks. You will actually be reprogramming your taste buds to enjoy lower levels of sugar and sodium without feeling a sacrifice in taste. While salt is very cheap, reducing intake can help lower blood pressure and lower risks of hypertension. And table sugar is just extra calories with no nutritional benefits.
6. Grow your food. Millions of households can turn just a small yard into a vegetable patch and save $200-1000 in grocery bills by growing tomatoes, peppers, carrots, peas, herbs, etc…Turn gardening into a family project and teach your kids where ketchup really comes from. Gardening is also a mild form of exercise, in itself helpful for maintaining health.
Help us test our new food comparison tool: alpha.fooducate.com