Produce For Better Health Foundation

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Eat Healthy on a Budget

 

Many people don't associate healthy eating with staying on a budget, but eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more! Get as much nutritional bang for your buck as possible by choosing nutrient-dense foods. This means avoiding or limiting the purchase of foods that have few vitamins and minerals per calorie, such as chips, cookies and soda, and buying more foods that offer higher vitamin, mineral and fiber content per calorie like healthy fruits and vegetables and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health. Fruits and veggies are loaded with healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals and eating them helps maintain a healthy weight and may reduce the risk of many diseases. Fruits and vegetables are the cheapest form of health insurance you can buy.

All forms of fruits and vegetables – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice – are an affordable part of a healthful lifestyle. Fresh cabbage, carrots, celery, lettuce and citrus fruits can all be budget friendly. Canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are wallet friendly too. They are just as nutritious as fresh because they are processed quickly after harvest, capturing all of nature’s goodness. Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be bought in bulk and used as needed so stock up when your family’s favorites are on sale.

Move protein away from the main focus of the meal. Meat tends to be the most expensive part of a meal and it can be high in calories and fat. Using less meat, or even going meatless for one day each week, can help lower both fat intake and costs. Use meat as a side dish rather than the main course. Replace it with extra fruits and vegetables.

For a quick-to-fix dish that offers one and a quarter cups of veggies in each serving, try 10 Minute Veggie Soup. Round out your meal with a slice of whole grain bread, add fresh, canned or frozen fruit for dessert and you’ve just put dinner on the table in no time flat. It’s perfect for those evenings when you don’t think you have time to cook.

You will find several healthy, easy-to-prepare, recipes online at www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org. There is even an entire section of recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. You’ll also find a healthy meal planning guide with advice on making a weekly menu and shopping list.



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