Healthy eating has a stigma of being expensive. Most people who have walked into a Whole Foods have experienced sticker shock. It’s why people call Whole Foods- Whole Paycheck.
I have long felt that healthy eating is going to be more expensive and more time intensive than less healthy and processed foods, but worth the extra time and money.
It takes time to plan out what to eat for the week and it takes time to go and buy it. Then it takes more time to prepare it. It is so much easier to by processed or prepared foods.
Researchers recently tried to put a price on how much extra eating healthy really costs.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently tried to put a price tag on healthy eating.
Mayuree Rao, lead study author, said that “We found that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day, and that’s a lot less than we might have expected.” The results are published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers based their findings on specific food prices per serving and also evaluated the diet patterns based on the price per day and price per calories, assuming a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Meats had the highest price per difference between healthy, lean and impurity free versions versus fattier, feed lot raised meats. Grains, snacks and dairy showed a minimal price difference between healthier and unhealthier options.
The results were consistent across several types of healthy diets and eating plans, including the Mediterranean diet and Harvard’s Alternative Healthy Eating Index. These healthiest diets cost consumers about $1.50 more per day then the unhealthiest diets.
Those who eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables pay on average $1.50 more per day then those who eat a diet high in processed foods.
This translates into about $550 per year per person to eat healthy.
It is hard enough to eat healthy. Let alone it costing more. Not to mention that studies show that if you live in a lower income area, you have less access to healthy foods. You’ll have plenty of access to processed foods and alcohol.
Sometimes it can be hard to find a grocery store that is clean and sells fresh fruits and vegetables. I remember shopping at a grocery store and seeing roaches crawling on the lettuce.
Factor in that it takes time to prepare the more expensive, healthy food, and it is easy to see why many people eat quick, easy, filling, cheap, processed foods.
For some people that $1.50 a day and $550 per year is insurmountable. It is cost prohibitive. That difference in price will make them not be able to eat healthy.
For others that price difference is less than what they spend on a cup of coffee per day. It is a small drop in the bucket of what many people spend on diets and diet related materials each year.
Regardless of your financial situation, in the long run it is more expensive to eat healthy. And there are many ways to do it inexpensively.
Lunch is an easy way to save money and eat healthy.
A loaf of bread costs $4.00/ packet of cheese $5.00/ bag of apples $5.00
For a grand total of $14.00 per week or $2.80 per day, you can have a healthy lunch.
It does take more time to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. But fresh fruits and vegetables are choc full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that help to fight off sickness and disease and keep you healthy.
If you don’t have health insurance then that is even more of a reason to take care of yourself, exercise and eat right. Prevent injury and illness and you will prevent medical expenses. It’s expensive to be sick.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are positively charged particles that attach to, and get rid of, free radicals. Free radicals are negatively charged particles that come from stress, processed foods, and other irritants. Free radicals attach themselves to molecules throughout the body and disrupt and destroy them. This process causes you to age prematurely and have more aches and pains in general. It causes your body to break down faster.
This is just one of the ways that eating right contributes to your health. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants which destroy free radicals and keep your body safe.
There is evidence that long term, this can result in less of a risk for cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, to name a few health issues positively affected by eating healthy.
Even though eating healthy is more expensive than eating cheap, calorie dense, unhealthy, toxic, processed and prepared foods, in the long run it is less expensive and is much better for you.
Don’t give in to the mindset that it is too expensive to eat healthy. Anyone can do it. You just have to know how. The Pain Free Lifestyle program teaches you how to eat healthy and do it easily and inexpensively. It also teaches you how to get into exercise in an easy to follow, and sustainable way.
Eat healthy and exercise the smart way, do it the Pain Free Way.