The Cost of Eating Healthy

There may be many reasons why we are currently experiencing an obesity epidemic in Western civilization, but one of the major reasons is simply the cost of eating healthy.

In this article we will address why eating healthy is so expensive compared to eating 'fast food'. Plus, we will also consider what you can do as an individual to reduce your risk of falling in the 'fast-food trap'.

The Cost of Eating Healthy

You've probably noticed yourself that eating healthy is expensive! I'm not talking about eating organic, free-range, or grass-fed foods all the time, I'm simply referring to eating natural, everyday, non-processed foods, like fruits and vegetables, purchased from your local supermarket.

As an example, I recently purchased some salad from my local supermarket and even though I have been aware of the 'cost of eating healthy' for quite some time, I really wanted to quantify exactly how expensive it was by comparison to eating fast food. What I discovered was quite shocking!

In order to make a basic salad I used only a few ingredients: english spinach ($3.00), red onion ($1.16), avocado ($3.48), red capsicum ($3.77), cherry tomatoes ($2.48), continental cucumber ($1.50), olives ($4.25), and Danish fetta ($3.20). Admittedly, I only used parts of some of these ingredients while I used all of others. Nevertheless, the cost of purchasing these ingredients totalled, $22.84! And that was just the salad component of the meal; it doesn't include the protein portion, which would normally cost around $10.

Therefore, making a basic salad can cost over $20 and you may get two meals out of it so let's say it's $10 for the salad component of the meal. Then, when you add in the protein component the total cost of a single meal is easily over $20!

Compare this cost of eating healthy to purchasing a fast food meal and the reason why we have an obesity problem becomes glaringly obvious. A burger, fries, and a drink costs around $10; about half the cost of the healthy meal. Plus, you can get it within a few minutes compared to the time required to prepare all the salad ingredients and then cook your steak or chicken breast!

Even worse is the fact that after eating the fast food meal you are highly likely to feel full whereas after eating the healthy meal you still may feel hungry.

So What can You Do to Reduce the Cost of Eating Healthy?

Purchase food from farmer's markets

The food at farmer's markets tends to be cheaper and is often better quality that what is purchased from supermarkets. Part of the reason may be due to the fact that you're purchasing directly from the manufacturer as opposed to purchasing from a re-seller.

Consider buying in bulk

By purchasing a week's supply of food at a time you may be able to obtain the food at a cheaper price. Most fruits and vegetables don't last much longer than a week so it is best to just get a week's worth at a time.

Apportion your food

People who get the best results when it comes to improving their body composition are those who regularly prepare several days' meals in advance, separate them out into individual containers, and then refrigerate them for later consumption. By doing so you can easily control your portion sizes, which means you don't overeat and can stick to your food budget easier.

If you would like more information about how to structure your meals for best results, please read, Look Good, Feel Great!

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