A Return to Simplicity: 7 Rules for Healthy Food on a Budget
1. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
They are inexpensive, nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare. You will save money by choosing them over canned or frozen foods. Fresh produce is always fresher than packaged food because it’s not stored in refrigerators or freezers which tend to lose their potency over time (and therefore taste less appetizing).
2. Avoid processed foods whenever possible.
Processed foods contain preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, trans fats and other chemicals that may cause cancer, raise your cholesterol levels and contribute to weight gain. They’re often high in sodium, sugar and salt—all of which add up when you eat too many of them. And they don’t provide all the nutrients found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables do!
3. Buy organic whenever possible if you can afford it.
Organic foods have been grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. They’ve also had no synthetic hormones added to them since these substances haven’t been approved by the FDA for human consumption. Plus, they’re better for you in several ways including being lower in calories and fat.
4. When buying meat at the store, choose grass-fed beef instead of grain-finished beef from factory farms.
Grain-finished beef tends to have a lot more fat than grass-fed beef, so it’s less healthy for you. Grass-fed beef is also leaner and contains more omega-3 fatty acids that help lower your risk of heart disease and cancer than grain-finished beef.
5. Keep your kitchen free of trans fats by always checking ingredient labels on food packages.
If it contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the label can legally claim that the food contains zero trans fat. By comparison, one fast-food chain’s apple pie contains 5 grams of trans fat! Trans fats are especially bad and they lower your good cholesterol while increasing your bad cholesterol.
They also cause inflammation in your arteries, and increase your risk of heart disease.
6. Eat meatless meals one or two days per week.
If you normally eat three servings of meat per day, cut back to two servings and add a serving of vegetables instead. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be increasing your daily intake of fiber and vitamins.
7. Buy foods in bulk whenever possible to save money.
You can always divide them up into smaller portions with zip-top bags if needed. Buying in bulk is especially helpful for items like Flaxseed, Oatmeal, Whole Wheat Pasta, and Rice.
These rules are not foolproof and you still need to be careful when buying food at the supermarket. But if you apply these rules faithfully, you should be able to save money and improve your health at the same time.
Thank you for your attention.
Sources & references used in this article:
Voluntary simplicity by D Elgin, A Mitchell – The Co-Evolution Quarterly, 1977 – researchgate.net
Mathematical programming for the efficient allocation of health care resources by AA Stinnett, AD Paltiel – Journal of Health Economics, 1996 – Elsevier
The virtue of simplicity by JC Gambrel, P Cafaro – Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 2010 – Springer