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A HA’PENNY A CALORIE

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

By Marie Dufour, RD -  My oldest son, a mortgage broker, keeps drilling me on the difference between cost and investment.  A rental property is an investment; a car is just a cost.  So, it was natural that I should look at the results from a Spanish study on the Mediterranean diet with a critical eye.

The Mediterranean diet, researchers found, costs Spaniards more than the traditional Western diet.  How much more? $1 for 1000 calories.  That’s ½ penny more a calorie.  This is not surprising.  Fish, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat bread, olive oil and almonds definitely are more expensive on the shelf than hot dogs, hamburgers, white bread and fast-food fare.  Indeed, the cost of fresh food is one of the objections I hear about following a healthy diet: “I cant’ afford it.”

I see it as an investment.  We have no greater wealth in this world than our good health.  The Mediterranean diet (and its associated lifestyle) is a proven recipe to prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer, the three scourges that are sending health budgets worldwide into a global tailspin.  The cost of following fat-and-sugar-laden Western-type diet is in the billions of dollars: to governments worldwide, to companies, to workers, and -yes- to you too… and, worse, to all our children. 

Pay now or pay later.  Invest a little in making your plate as healthy as possible: Mediterranean, DASH, South Beach, Ornish, Katz, Willett, MyPyramid… all these are great healthy eating investment plans.  Rather than emptying your bank account at the health store to buy the vitamin pills, protein powder jars, food bars and vitamined water you think you need to offset a poor diet, rather spend a little more on the fresh food that goes on your plate.

Now, sit down, and take time to enjoy this nutrition-rich, low energy density meal, and know that you’re investing in your good health and that of your children.

 

Ref: Lopez CN, et al “Costs of Mediterranean and Western dietary patterns in a Spanish cohort and their relationship with prospective weight change” J Epidemiol Community Health 2009; DOI: 10.1136/jech.2008.081208.

Filed under: Lifestyle, community nutrition, diet, cancer prevention, childhood obesity, diet, food cost, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, heart health, High blood pressure, kids' health, Marie Dufour RD, Mediterranean Diet, men's health, nutrition, obesity, omega 3, weight control, weight loss, women's Health

By Marie Dufour, RD -  My oldest son, a mortgage broker, keeps drilling me on the difference between cost and investment.  A rental property is an investment; a car is just a cost.  So, it was natural that I should look at the results from a Spanish study on the Mediterranean diet with a critical eye.

The Mediterranean diet, researchers found, costs Spaniards more than the traditional Western diet.  How much more? $1 for 1000 calories.  That’s ½ penny more a calorie.  This is not surprising.  Fish, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat bread, olive oil and almonds definitely are more expensive on the shelf than hot dogs, hamburgers, white bread and fast-food fare.  Indeed, the cost of fresh food is one of the objections I hear about following a healthy diet: “I cant’ afford it.”

I see it as an investment.  We have no greater wealth in this world than our good health.  The Mediterranean diet (and its associated lifestyle) is a proven recipe to prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer, the three scourges that are sending health budgets worldwide into a global tailspin.  The cost of following fat-and-sugar-laden Western-type diet is in the billions of dollars: to governments worldwide, to companies, to workers, and -yes- to you too… and, worse, to all our children. 

Pay now or pay later.  Invest a little in making your plate as healthy as possible: Mediterranean, DASH, South Beach, Ornish, Katz, Willett, MyPyramid… all these are great healthy eating investment plans.  Rather than emptying your bank account at the health store to buy the vitamin pills, protein powder jars, food bars and vitamined water you think you need to offset a poor diet, rather spend a little more on the fresh food that goes on your plate.

Now, sit down, and take time to enjoy this nutrition-rich, low energy density meal, and know that you’re investing in your good health and that of your children.

 

Ref: Lopez CN, et al “Costs of Mediterranean and Western dietary patterns in a Spanish cohort and their relationship with prospective weight change” J Epidemiol Community Health 2009; DOI: 10.1136/jech.2008.081208.

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