How can a person stretch their food budget without buying cheap, empty calories in processed foods? We all think that fresh lean meats, fish, and fruits and vegetables are the healthiest choices but are not always affordable, right? Wrong! It is a myth that the healthiest foods are the most expensive. With a list and a plan, it is possible to eat healthy without blowing your food budget or sacrificing those hard-earned results.
Healthy Foods #1: Soy
Want the best nutrition for about $3 a day? Invest your money in a meal replacement shake that is soy-based. This is the health communities best kept secret. Not only does it fill you up for hours, but it contains proper nutrition to get your body back to the way it was when you felt proud of it. You can find it in many different flavors and basically, you just add milk and fresh fruit to it. This is what fast food should really be like.
Healthy Foods #2: Beans
Beans are versatile and nutritious, with a variety of flavors and colors to choose from. Beans are one of the best sources of dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Beans are also high in protein and low in calories. Since beans can be incorporated into almost any recipe or eaten alone, you will have tons of cheap, healthy meal possibilities.
Healthy Foods #3: Eggs
At about $1 to $2 a dozen, and only 75 calories each, eggs are a healthy bargain. Forget about the worry of cholesterol because egg consumption contributes less than 1 percent to the risk of heart disease when other factors are considered. Eggs have a high proportion of nutrients to calories, which means that they help you stay full and energized while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in bakes and omelets, or hard cooked in salads.
Healthy Foods #4: Pasta
Pasta is tasty, filling, and always an economical way to feed one person or a crowd. It is low in sodium and fat and high in complex carbohydrates, which helps you maintain a consistent energy level. Pasta is also fortified with folic acid, an essential nutrient. Since pasta is easy to combine with other foods, including vegetables, meats, and sauces (no…not Alfredo!, you can literally eat it every day and feel as tough you are always having a new dish.
Healthy Foods #5: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes and yams are also versatile foods that are nutritious and economical. They are low in sodium, calories and filling, easy to cook, and loaded with vitamins A and C, iron, and thiamine. They also contain beta-carotene and are a good source of fiber. They can be baked, microwaved, or cooked in boiling water. Start by using them in place of white potatoes.
Healthy Foods #6: Brown Rice
One bag of brown rice can provide as many as 20 servings. Talk about stretching your dollar! The great thing about brown rice is that it can be combined with an assortment of other ingredients so you can get different tastes. Since it is a great source of fiber, vitamin B, iron, manganese, and selenium, it boosts your immune system, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risks of heart disease and diabetes.
Healthy Foods #7: Frozen Fruits And Vegetables
While fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that are in season should always be a first choice, having a supply of frozen vegetables in the freezer is an inexpensive, nutritious, and versatile backup plan. They retain almost all of their nutritional value, since they’re picked and frozen while at their peak nutrition and flavor. It is easy to reach for a bag of frozen vegetables and add them to any meal. Toss them in soy shakes, soups, stews, lasagna, or stir-fries.
Let us not forget to really think about what we spend our money on at the grocery store. If you think salmon, shrimp and steak are too expensive, put back the package of oreo cookies and the half gallon of ice cream and add up your total again. Sometimes we overlook the fact that small devilishly good processed snacks add up in a big way…on your grocery bill as well as your hips! Focus on eating the healthy foods listed above and you will be well on your way to saving money and keeping yourself healthy.