Eating Healthy is More Affordable Than You Think.

Healthy-Snacks-Looking-DeliciousA common excuse for eating unhealthy foods is that the more nutritious options are too expensive.

As I’ve said before, the excuse is untrue; it’s a myth. It’s totally possible to eat healthy without spending a lot of money. In fact, I even made a video about it.

A new study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest take things a step further. According to the study, fruits and vegetables are not only more nutritious than packaged snacks and side dishes, but also more affordable.

For the study, 20 snacks and 19 side dishes were analyzed. After the numbers were crunched, the study found that the average price per fruit or vegetable snack was $0.34. The price per unhealthy packaged snack was nearly double at $0.67. The nutritious vegetable side dishes averaged $0.27 while packaged side dishes averaged $0.31.

Some examples from the study:

  • Half-cup of apple: $0.26 / One Fruit by the Foot: $0.45
  • Half-cup of grapes: $0.46 / Package of M&M candies: $0.75
  • Half-cup of sweet potato: $0.31 / Stovetop stuffing: $0.38
  • Half-cup of sliced cucumber: $0.14 / An ounce of Lay’s Potato Chips: $0.27

In other words, this study challenges the notion that eating healthy is expensive. In fact, the opposite is often true. And since most Americans aren’t getting their recommended servings of fruits or vegetables, all of us would be well served – in the waistline and the wallet – to replace some unhealthy packaged foods with healthier alternatives.

Unhealthy foods also come with a hidden, long-term cost. For instance, medical expenses. Obesity accounts for 21% of U.S. healthcare costs. In fact, obese people incur annual medical costs that are $2,741 higher than non-obese people.

Of course, to be fair, fruits and vegetables often have a shorter shelf life than packaged options like M&M candies or potato chips. But remember that frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option – and are often cheaper and even more nutrient dense (as they’re picked and frozen at the peak of freshness). If you want the fruits and veggies to last longer, buy frozen!

Does this study jive with your own person experience? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

About Davey Wavey

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Comments

  1. Thank you Davey for promoting the truth of eating healthy. For me at least, after a healthy snack or eating vegetables rather than potato chips/taco chips and such I feel “satisfied” rather than wanting more which is what seems to happen with the “junk food”.

  2. If I’m hungry, and I need energy to get through another three hours of work, I’m going to pay more for the thing which has actual energy, rather than the thing that is 90% water.

    Not to mention that not all of us have acces to a fridge or freezer

    • Fruit is a source of natural energy, natural sugar. Sure, it has a high water content, but it will provide real nourishment rather than artificial nourishment like in most processed foods. So eat your fruits and veggies!

      • Not to mention that most junk food or snacks are mostly empty calories – there’s not much in them other than sodium, carbs/sugars, and fat. Fruits and veggies have other vitamins, minerals, calcium, antioxidants, etc. There’s a great blog out there that compares…. 350 calories of carrots makes you feel a lot more full than 350 calories of potato chips! Did you know that the following each equal ~100 calories? Ten cups raw spinach or baby greens, three tomatoes, 60 green beans, 70 radishes, three zucchinis, or thirty spears of asparagus. Mother nature has our back yo! How many processed snacks do you know of that have less than 200 calories? And of the ones that do have less, how many are filling? I don’t know about you guys – two tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper would make me feel VERY full. And I definitely couldn’t eat three zucchinis at a time. 90% of the time if you stick to fresh fruits/veggies you will get full faster in comparison to the amount of calories that you take in.

        Check out http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-200-calories-look-like.htm
        If I was attempting to lose weight I wouldn’t eat anything below the avocado row!

  3. It helped greatly

  4. Wesley Kalata says:

    Davey,

    Your referenced numbers are totally inaccurate and unrealistic. For example, if you go to any regular retailer (i.e. Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, etc) and attempted to buy a cucumber, it would cost between 50-65 cents per cucumber. You could get about 1/2 to 3/4 of cucumber after cutting and dicing (or even slicing). When this is compared to your cost of 14 cents, that study is totally wrong.

    Another example, peaches. You can usually get 2 peaches (about 1lb) for $1.99 and this would translate to about 1/2-3/4 cup of diced (or sliced) peaches) That is still $1 per serving.

    When comparing these numbers to the ones your study references, there’s no comparison… eating healthy costs way too much and if you can afford it, then good for you, but if you can’t (like me) then “too bad, so sad”. Sometimes, when I see posts like this it really irritates me because people who are struggling get a bad wrap, and that’s why there’s an growing disparate of standard of living in the United States.

    -Wes

  5. Eating healthy is more expensive has always been a bad excuse. Now I know the excuse that unhealthy eating is more convenient does seem to be true, but only because no one takes the time to cook their own meals any more. I have experienced that cooking for yourself really does not consume that much time especially when the health benefits are considered.

  6. 2 thumbs up for the great article Sir. I just want to add that balancing your diet is the key to healthy nutrition.