Eating Healthy On A Budget
Eating right can be difficult. We are inundated with fast food restaurants, unhealthy snack foods, and quick dinners that are not doing anything positive for our waistlines or our health. However, with the rise in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, many Americans have become more aware of the need to eat healthy. This is shown in the growth of more health conscious grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.
Eating healthy on a budget can be even more difficult. Health conscious grocery stores and public food markets tend to have higher prices. Also, with today’s busy schedules, fresh fruits and vegetables purchased on the weekends may not be consumed in just a few days. Some people buy fresh fruits and vegetables only to find by the end of the week they are spoiled.
If you are buying fresh fruits and vegetables than you want to last more than a few days, carefully select your product. For example, look for bananas that are not already full ripened. Also, some fruits and vegetables last longer than others. For example, apples can typically last several weeks in a refrigerator. Oranges and grapefruits also keep well relative to other fresh fruits. Fresh vegetables that keep better than others include carrots, celery, potatoes, and zucchini.
Select fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Prices tend to be low as there is greater supply and quality is usually quite good. Noting is better than fresh watermelon or strawberries on a warm summer day.
If you are buying fresh vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce, use them within a few days. You may also want to consider buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables for items that you want to have available. However, if you are buying canned products, stay away from those in heavy syrup as the caloric content is quite high.
Even if you are not eating fresh fruits are vegetables, there are things you can do to reduce your caloric and sugar intake and eat healthier. For example, stay away from sodas and sugary drinks such as fruit punch. These beverages are high in calories and carbohydrates with no real nutritional value.
Eating healthy is a great start but there are other things you can do to control your weight. Simple exercise such as going out on a walk can help burn calories and does not cost you anything. Also, eat slowly as sometimes people east so fast that they continue eating even though they are no longer hungry. Resist the temptation to clean off your plate or eat when you are stressed. And if you have problem foods such as potato chips or ice cream, don’t buy them!
These are some simple steps you can take to help control your weight and eat healthy on a budget. So the next time you are going to be out and need a snack, bring an apple instead of grabbing a candy bar. You will feel better, get more nutrition, and your waistline will thank you. For expert advice, speak to a registered nutritionist or dietitian.