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.
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.
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 they help you stay full and energized while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in bakes and omelettes or hard cooked in salads.
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 though you are always having a new dish.
Sweet potatoes and yams are versatile foods that are nutritious and economical. They are low in sodium, calories and easy to cook; they are 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.
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.
Frozen Fruits And Vegetables
While fresh, in-season raw fruits and vegetables 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.
Bill Winch is a Personal Wellness Coach whose mission is teaching and coaching others who are struggling with getting healthy, losing weight safely and keeping it off for good. He is a former High School and College Business Educator and Counselor, and mentors from his home office in Rochester, NY. If you are interested in receiving his Free Report “9 Weight Loss Myths Exposed” visit his website by clicking on http://LoseW8Now.com or by calling him directly at (585) 271-3767 for a free wellness consultation.