Is Healthy Eating Expensive?

From your weekly grocery trips to eating on the go - stay focused on quality for a healthy nutrition regime.

The first time I walked into a Whole Foods store, I was overwhelmed with brands I never heard of before, not to mention types of produce and fruit I had never even seen before. The orange and purple colored cauliflower stuck out to me, and kiwi berries which look like grapes. I remember thinking how odd and unappetizing they looked. However, I came to find out that these colorful varieties of cauliflower provide a significant amount of key nutrients. For example, orange cauliflower contains beta-carotene which is what your body converts into Vitamin A -- necessary to support a healthy heart, lungs and kidneys. The same goes for all yellow, orange, and purple-colored produce containing beta-carotene among many other nutrients. One of the reasons why you may have heard that you should “eat the rainbow “ is because of the different nutrients that are the genetic makeup of the product. Unfortunately, the same does not pertain to the Skittles candy. Being able to consume all the necessary nutrients for your body and what it requires to maintain your lifestyle will most likely result in an almost euphoric feeling and actually being healthy through the consumption of whole foods.

When you shop at a store like Whole Foods, you will have a better selection of healthier foods to choose from versus other grocery stores that carry well-known commercial brands containing more chemicals than Draino. You won’t find Oreos at Whole Foods, but you will find a healthier version of a similar type of cookie that tastes just as good. Looking at the nutrition label of the healthier chocolate cookie with creme filling, you may notice fewer ingredients or “better option” ingredients such as coconut oil rather than vegetable oil. The prices may be slightly higher at Whole Foods, but that’s because you are paying for better quality ingredients. When it comes to my body and what I choose to eat, quality is a key factor in deciding whether or not I will consume a certain product.

You don’t necessarily have to shop at Whole Foods in order to eat healthy. Visiting a farmer’s market or butcher shop is another way to save money and still get quality healthy foods. Produce is most likely always going to be cheaper to buy from a local farmer’s market. Sometimes it will also come from the same state rather than from across the country, which means the freshness will be noticeably different. A butcher shop gets its meat from an actual farmer rather than a company that ships out meats made in a factory. You can guess that there's a good chance the meat contains something to make it look “fresh” and last longer during the shipping and storing process. In going to a farmers market or butcher shop, you also avoid the temptation of walking down the middle aisles that have all the highly processed, sugar food products.

What if you're not at home and want to pick up a healthy meal? This is where you are going to see the price get higher than you might expect, but think about quality here. The better quality a particular food or meal is, the better you will feel and your body will thank you. Some chain restaurants like SaladWorks or Chopt will always have better choices, so you can confidently feel good about what you eat. Apps like UberEats and DoorDash have health categories that will give you restaurants that have items on the menu that are considered healthy. Keep in mind, you should feel good after eating a meal, energetic, not lethargic, satisfied, not over-stuffed, have stomach mobility, not bloating. Take notice of these feelings after eating- it will give you insight as to what foods are best for you and if it’s worth the price you choose to pay.

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