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Cheap Junk Food or Higher Priced Healthy Food=What’s the Cost?

Posted Sep 29 2008 4:10pm

The economy is difficult right now.  Times are tough.  Housing, gas and food are at an all-time high.  I have a client that gets her meals through a fast food drive thru taking advantage of their dollar menu.  She believes that it is cost-effective and a wise financial choice, however, is it a wise healthy choice?

When buying groceries, how much you spend depends on where you push the shopping cart.  Do you shop the perimeter of the supermarket?  The essentials of a healthy department are located outside of the processed foods up and down the center aisles.

With 75 cents in the produce aisle, you can purchase one serving of fruit such as an apple, a cup of strawberries or a cup of grapes. But that same 75 cents spent in the snack aisle will buy you three times as many servings: three granola bars, 12 Oreos or 25 potato chips.  And if you want to get the most calories for your money, stay near the junk food. Compared to the 400 calories provided by a candy bar, a dollar’s worth of a tomato will go as far as 18 calories.  Look at what 75 cents will get you as far as calories.  You get much more as far as calories.  However, what nutrition are you buying for that 75 cents in the snackaisle.

Because fruits and vegetables are generally more costly than snack foods, many people are having to choose whether to stretch their money on cheaper food and save money or eating healthfully. For those on a tight grocery budget, steering clear of higher-priced produce seems to makes sense.   It is hard to lose weight when junk food is so cheap.

But is spending grocery money on snack food cost-effective?  What is cheap?  Junk food buys ore calories but the are empty, void of nutrition calories.  You are paying for sugar, fat, and zero quality nutrition.

There are ways to eat healthy and feed your body without emptying your wallet.

* Stores have ads every week to get you in their store.  Use them!
* Buy fruits and vegetables that are in-season, more plentiful thus less in cost.
* Shop at Farmer’s Markets as they are usually more inexpensive than the grocery stores.
* While the convenience of bagged and pre-cut produce is nice, it is more expensive.  Do your own preparation and buy whole fruits and vegetables.
* Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive than fresh.  If you don’t overcook, they will retain their nutritional benefits and last longer.
* Frozen produce offers more nutrition because it is picked and frozen almost immediately, rather than picked and transported.
* Buy meat in bulk and freeze what you don’t need right away.
* Purchase cheese in blocks and shred it yourself rather than buy pre-shredded bags.

The economy is at a tough time right now.  Lots of financial insecurity and jobs unsure of.  Don’t let your health or weight loss suffer or be compromised.  A place that people can try to make up costs is in food.  Maybe it is a good deal price-wise but it is a good deal health-wise?  A wise food choice is more than calories per buck.  Look at the nutrition you get and that is the best choice of all.

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator


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