Saturday, August 20, 2011

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

Sometimes, what's good for our health is also good for our wallets.  Here are some tips for what healthy choices you can make that also cut down on costs.

In general, shopping at grocery stores instead of eating out will cut down your food expenses and also be healthier.  Learning how to cook on your own will allow you to control what goes into your food so that you can more carefully monitor how much sodium and sugar you get.  Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and can help you feel more full more quickly.  Some of the most nutritious foods are quite low in cost such as bananas, carrots, potatoes, whole-wheat flour, and dried beans.  There are people who think fruits and veggies are too expensive, but these same people might spend $3 on a pound of candy rather than $1 on a pound of bananas.

I would also recommend skim milk. Whole milk contains about 3.5% fat by weight which is about 50% of the calories.  I'm not sure if anyone else was like me who thought that 2% milk was 2% of the fat in whole milk, but this makes 2% milk only marginally better.  Going for fat-free is much healthier for you and can often save you a little bit as well.

Another food tip is to go for less processed food.  The more processed the food, the less healthy it is.  An example is that an apple is the least processed, apple sauce is more processed, and apple juice is the most processed.  Also, steam instead of boil vegetables so that they lose less nutrients.

A final tip is to try to go semi-vegetarian.  Or at least don't be afraid of vegetarian options if you aren't.  I went weekday vegetarian for a semester last year and a lot of vegetarian choices are quite tasty.  They are also a lot healthier and sometimes cheaper than the meatier alternatives.

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