A big obstacle people encounter when trying to eat healthy is that good food is more expensive than bad food; thus they continue to eat what they can afford which is only doing their body a disservice. The good news is that there is both low cost and healthy food out there, so there is no longer any reason to put off healthy eating.
Many people would love to eat fruit as a snack but the cost usually outweighs the desire. As a result, they choose to buy a bag of potato chips and box of cookies which id seemingly a better value but has no place in a healthy diet. While it is true that fruits are more expensive than most convenience snacks, you can definitely find well priced and very tasty fruit. Choosing in-season fruit is the best way to eat fruit affordably. Apples and bananas are typically the most affordable of all fruits because they grow year round. In fact, you could probably get enough bananas to eat one a day for a week all for under $2.00 a bunch. What other daily snack can you purchase for that value?
When it comes to vegetables, most people choose the cheapest option which is canned. This, however, should always be your last option. Canned vegetables have fewer nutrients than their fresh and frozen counterparts plus they have excessive sodium levels due to the packing ingredients. Fresh is best but frozen is a good alternative. Frozen vegetables retain their nutrients and do not contain shelf-stabilizing agents. If you are willing to do the prep work such as washing, grating and cutting, then fresh vegetable prices can also be affordable. Follow the same guidelines as fruit and buy in-season vegetables when possible.
Learn to use brown rice in your recipes and you can save a bundle. You can typically find a two pound bag of brown rice for less than $2.00, and it should be able to create around 20 side dishes. Full of fiber and protein, brown rice is the king of low cost and healthy food.
Oats are jam packed with protein and fiber, and are typically used as the kick-start for many fat burning diets. Use them in hot or cold cereal or even in snacks such as granola and muffins. At a little over $2.00 for an 18 ounce bag, oats give a superb value for the benefits they provide. This is a wonderful low cost and healthy food that can be purchased cheaply but that will contribute to many healthy meal options.
Refried beans can be used in many different meals and can give vegetarians the protein needed to supplement their diet. Use refried beans inside burritos or tacos or in chili. Beans increase your protein intake instead of your calorie intake. Depending on the brand, you can generally get a 15 ounce can for under $2.00 which can serve as the main dish or as a side dish. Just make sure to always look at the ingredients labels before purchasing.