Google healthy food is expensive, and you will get tons of articles justifying this fact. Trying to convince you that produce is too much and that you should stick to high-sodium frozen and high-processed foods. While some vegetables and certain cuts of meat could be expensive (Wagyu Beef anyone?), this statement cannot be far from the truth.
1. The Misuderstanig that Only Expensive Superfoods are Healthy Food
The idea that healthy eating means only expensive and exotic foods like avocados and acai bowls is a common misconception. Whether animal or plant-based, healthy food is anything natural and nutritious, like fruits, vegetables, and protein sources, these foods are cheap, readily available, and can provide great nutrients and amazing health benefits. You don’t have to spend much on so-called ‘superfoods’ to eat healthily. My Beaf and Bean Chili recipe could cost as little as $2-3 per serving, and if you replace the beef with chicken, you can reduce that expense further.
Recipes to try: Easy Beef and Bean Chili
2. Healthy Meals Takes too Much Time and Effort
Cooking healthy meals at home can save you time and money in the long run. Eating out or ordering takeout often involves additional waiting time for delivery or driving to the restaurant. On the other hand, cooking a quick and simple meal at home, such as my Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps, can take as little as 20 minutes and be just as satisfying and nutritious. Plus, you can even have leftovers for lunch the next day!
Recipe to try: Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
3. Cheap Healthy Food is Repetitive and Boring
Finally, you may worry that healthy eating on a budget means boring chicken breast and broccoli meals daily. But that’s not true! You can enjoy a variety of affordable proteins like chicken drumsticks, fish and an endless list of affordable vegetables that can be cooked in various styles and with different spices. In my house, we cook everything from Tex-Mex to Mediterranean cuisine, and it never gets boring, and while we might use the same ingredients, we change the spices a bit, and the result is always different.
4. We Overlook Other Costs Associated with a Poor Diet
One of the most significant benefits of eating a healthy diet is that it can help you avoid costly medical bills. Eating nutritious foods reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce healthcare costs by up to $1,200 annually.
5. We Don’t Look for Savings When and Where We Should
Buying healthy foods like beans, rice, nuts, and seeds in bulk can save money. Buying in bulk reduces the cost per serving and helps you avoid packaging waste. Plus, you can store these items for a long time, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad before using them. You can buy meat in larger quantities for lower cost and store it in the freezer. Frozen produce has similar nutrient value as fresh produce, and while you should try to add as many fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet as possible, frozen peas and spinach are staples in my house.