As a trainer and passionate about nutrition, I frequently hear it is too expensive to eat healthy. I have several family members who are on tight budgets for various reasons and they tell me they can not afford good healthy whole foods, it will blow their budgets. They have to eat junk food, fast food, dead food which causes weight gain and sickness. No matter how I try to tell them it is not expensive to eat healthy whole foods and in the end it is even cheaper, they do not want to hear. Junk food tastes better to them and they do not want to change their habits. Most people are in the same boat today with the state of the economy or being addicted to these foods. Yes, I did say addicted. With the amounts of sugar and chemical additives, junk food is even more addictive than cocaine. Even so called healthy food is nothing more than sugar laden fat causing pseudo dead food, which are addictive. This is how the manufacturers want their food though, addictive, because then you have to have it and you continue to buy more. They have very cunning marketing gimmicks to fool you into thinking it is healthy. Then, you are addicted and have to the food.
Back to real healthy food being expensive. Think about it this way, when you go grocery shopping, where do you spend most of your time? Where do most of your foods come from? The middle of the store, the isles of processed foods or on the outer portions of the store, the produce and meat isles, the single ingredient items? You see, when you are shopping in the middle of the store with all of the processed foods, these are dead, have very low nutritional profiles, are laden with sugar, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, HFCS, and various other chemicals. These foods do not provide our bodies with the nutrients they need, can cause diabetes, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, lack of vitamins and minerals and the list goes on and on and on. If you end up with any one of these disease, or several, you are going to spend more money than you would if you were eating real whole foods. Here, there is no comparison. The cost benefit ratio is out of this world. You will spend more on a heart attack or cancer treatment than if you ate healthy food your entire life which can ward off these diseases. Makes eating healthy not seem so expensive does it?
When you are eating these types of foods, you also have to eat more. For example, if you drink a can of soda and eat a bag of chips, in about an hour, if not shorter, you are going to be hungry again. When you are drinking soda, their is no signal to your brain telling your stomach is full, so you eat and eat. The chips have nothing really that healthy in them either. Your brain nor body receives the nutrients they need to function and thrive. They go through your system quickly and you are hungry again. Not only that, but you have a sugar crash and your body needs it's drug, sugar. You reach for a doughnut, more soda, candy or so called healthy foods. The cycle continues on. With this, you eat more food and thus more calories.
On the other hand, when you are shopping on the outer portions of a store and thus eating whole foods, your body and brain are fed. They receive all of the nutrients they need when we eat a variety of vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, eggs, fish and fats, like butter, and cream along with nuts and seeds. You actually will eat less food when consuming real whole food. Even Hublet admitted to this, when I eat healthy foods, I need less. That is big, coming from Hublet! Protein and fat take longer for our bodies to digest, you are full for longer periods of time. When we eat fiber, it will create more bulk in our stomach, and we are full for longer periods. Your blood sugar levels are going to be stable and even in a fat burning zone instead of peaking and troughing, causing diabetes and a host of other diseases, when you are eating real food. If you are eating less food, you are automatically saving money! When we eat healthy, we maintain our health. We are not going to the doctor and having to take prescription medication or over the counter medication, again saving money. You could possibly not have to take a multi-vitamin or other vitamins if you are eating real whole foods. Again, saving money.
By avoiding the processed, pseudo dead food, both food and drinks, we have more money to buy real food. When you go grocery shopping, try to have 90-95% of you shopping cart filled with single ingredient items, shopping on the outer portion of the store. Those foods which you do buy from the inner portion, be sure you can read every ingredient and know what it is. Or, instead shop at farmer's markets, fruit stands, buying local food. When the end of the season comes around, stock up and freeze o dry foods for alter use. Buy in bulk when you can with your meats. Buy a cow. If you can not eat the whole thing, split it with family or friends. Some butchers will sell half or quarters of a cow. Grow your own produce, it is not as hard as it sounds. If I can grow produce, anyone can. Have chickens for your eggs and then poultry, if you are allowed to. You can even sell the extras to neighbors. Plan a weeks worth of meals before you go shopping, know what you need and stick to your list. If you know a particular isle is tempting for you, do not go down it. In the end, you will see your bill go down. But more importantly, your health will improve, weight will fall off and you will feel alive and better than you ever have!
Here is a great article on this issue which has some tips. There are links at the bottom to other articles which show you more money saving tips and tricks and even one showing how cheap healthy food can be. It can be cheaper than junk food.
Until next time,
In the Love of Christ,