How to eat healthy on a budget

While it is true that fruits and vegetables are the most important for optimal health, they do account for 40-50% of a healthful food budget while providing only 10-20% of your calorie needs. Nutrition is not just about calories. While we cannot scientifically deny that fruits and vegetable nourish us like no other, fortunately, there is a way to get enough calories and nutrition on a budget.

I have selected eight, wallet-friendly, nutritious foods that will provide nutritional needs for protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, including fruits and vegetables.

  1. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables. If fruits and vegetables are not on sale, consider their frozen counterparts. By doing so, you will have a good variety to choose from and never feel guilty for throwing out your uneaten, rotting fruits and veggies that you neglected in the refrigerator. Cost: $.25-$.75 a serving.
  2. Rice. Rice is a perfect base for many meals. Loaded in fiber, brown rice also provides protein, potassium and magnesium. Cook a large pot and pair it with beans, salads, soups and casseroles throughout the week. Cost: $.05 cents per serving
  3. Dried Beans. Dried beans provide adequate protein, fiber and aid in creating a diverse population of healthy bacteria in your gut. Cost: $.12 cents per serving.
  4. Milk, Yogurt or Kefir. Nutrition from dairy foods are hard to replace. Dairy substitutes often do not provide enough. Dairy sources provide 70 percent of your calcium needs along with vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorus, protein, and natural probiotics. Cost: $.25 cents per serving
  5. Natural Peanut Butter. PB provides protein, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Spread it on waffles, toast, apples, carrots, whole-grain crackers, and even pasta. Cost: $.12 cents per serving
  6. Whole Wheat Bread. Who does not love toast or sandwiches? Loaded in B vitamins, magnesium and fiber, a quality whole wheat bread will have two or more grams of fiber per serving. Cost: $.10-$.15 cents per slice
  7. Eggs. One of the most inexpensive and easily digested sources of protein is egg protein! Eat eggs for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Hard boil them for snacks and use them in casseroles and quiche. Cost: $.10-$.15 cents per egg
  8. Whole Wheat Pasta. Pasta is not over rated. Many people love pasta and for good reason! It is an inexpensive, and satisfying in many traditional meals. Pair it with spaghetti red sauce for a boost in antioxidants, add canned tuna to increase protein and omega-3 fats. Cost: $.12 a serving

Join me at Publix® in RBC, for a hands-on-nutrition education experience called,  Smart Cart Grocery Store Tour on April 12 @ 5:30pm. Class description and tickets can be purchased at Limited space. Deadline to enroll is 4/10/18.

Published in The Gadsden Times April 1, 2018. Read HERE

Published in Tuscaloosa News, April 2, 2018. Read HERE

Featured in The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Smart Brief HERE

Published in Anniston/Gadsden Christian Family Magazine HERE

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