Have you ever said ” healthy foods are so expensive“?
If you haven’t, then I’d like to ask you to donate some of your wealth to me, because you certainly have waay more money than I do. I
think that very question often. Yes, I still buy the healthy foods, I just don’t like the bill.With that thought in mind, I decided to do a break down of food costs (I’m a real numbers kinda guy) and see what the real cost was.
What Does the USDA Say
I checked out the U.S.D.A.’s Economic Research Service and discovered that there are lot’s of healthy foods that cost less than some of the, affectionately termed, junk foods. For example, those deliciously salty potato chips we have a love/hate relationship with cost an avg. of 2X as much as the equally delicious carrot by portion size.
How Pleasantly Surprised Was I With the Results
The report found that carrots, onions, pinto beans, lettuce, mashed potatoes, bananas and orange juice are all less expensive per portion than soft drinks, ice cream, chocolate candy, french fries, sweet rolls and deep-fat fried chicken patties.
Healthy Foods for Less than a Buck
For variety sake I’ll list 2 fruits, 2 veggies and 1 protein/fat
1] Watermelon (the cheapest of the fruits)
Costs just $00.17 cents per cup. Watermelon contains powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as potassium and magnesium. I also boasts phytonutrients such as lycopene, beta carotene and citruline, which your body converts to the amino acid arginine … and very few calories!
Costs just $00.21 cents per cup. Bananas contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and potassium. And they’re an outstanding addition to any smoothie. Not to mention they come in their own “no mess” wrapper.
Costs just $00.28 cents per cup. Onions appear to have cardiovascular benefits such as reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, at least in the short term. Onions also contain phytochemicals called flavonoids, which help vitamin C in its function, improving the integrity of blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. All this spells help for your cardiovascular system. One particular flavonoid, quercetin, may inhibit tumor growth and help keep colon cancer at bay. Onions also contain vitamin C and chromium. Chromium is a mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, ultimately assisting with blood glucose control. Green onions, because of their bright green tops, provide a wealth of vitamin A.
I collected extra nutritional info on onions simply because I still can’t stand these things and need all the motivation I can get in order to eat ’em. :/
Costs just $00.31 cents per cup. Cauliflower is one of several cruciferous vegetables. After citrus fruits, cauliflower is your next best natural source of vitamin C. Cauliflower contains fiber, folic acid, and potassium. It also contains phytochemicals, called indoles, that may stimulate enzymes that block cancer growth. It’s sometimes used as a low carb or gluten free version of mashed potatoes. I’ve never tried that., Kinda doubt it would be as tasty.
Costs just $00.15 cents per egg. What can I say about the incredible, edible egg? Eggs stand alone with their nutritional benefits. I personally eat about 6 per day. No, eating the yolk will not elevate your cholesterol or make you fat. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats. Eggs contain vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins like folic acid, choline and biotin.
I recommend purchasing your eggs from a local farmer if possible. So long as they let their chicks roam free and eat a natural diet. This will make all the difference in the world in the eggs omega-3 to omega 6 ratio. I pay $3.00 per dozen to a local farmer here. That brings the actual cost to $00.50 per egg.
Pay close attention to the fact that these prices are based on 1 cup serving sizes. Portion control and serving size should always be at the forefront of a healthy nutritional plan or “diet”. Eating a more reasonable amount of food will also keep costs in check.
The bottom line is the fact that eating healthy foods don’t have to break the bank. It only appears to when portion sizes aren’t considered into the equation.
And last but not least – pay your grocer now, or pay your doctor later!