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fruitWhat is the cost of eating healthy? A couple of studies looked at answering this question and found that it depends. It depends on your income, if you can cook, and how you measure your food.

The first study was conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). They found based on weight and serving size, fruits, veggies, low-fat milk and grains cost less than foods that were high in fat and sugar as well as fish, chicken and meat. Their message was that eating healthy costs less than eating junk foods.

A conflicting study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found the opposite. However, they took another approach to analyzing the data by studying the cost of food in relation to its nutritional content. They found that foods that were higher in essential nutrients coast more per calorie than foods poor in nutrient content.

Even though these studies do not agree when it comes to cost of food there are some things they do agree on. They agree that people who know how to cook are able to eat healthier without blowing the budget. For many, cooking healthy is a new skill and many would have to change the way they view food. They could also make their dollar stretch further if they opted for more nutritious options over foods high in sugar and fat.

Here are some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget:

  • Take a cooking class and add a few more healthy recipes to your list
  • Visit a nutritionist, naturopath or dietician for advice on healthy and affordable eating
  • Do some shopping at farmers markets. They often cost less than supermarkets
  • Shop on a full stomach and you are less likely to fill your cart with junk food
  • Plan your meals. The more you plan the easier it is to eat healthy and stay on a budget

 

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