A Healthy Diet On A Slim Food Budget

In lean economic times, we may need to tighten our food budgets, but it is important to do so wisely. Processed foods are definitely cheap.

A dollar buys 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips, but only 250 calories of carrots; or 875 calories of soda, but only 170 calories of orange juice.

Filling up on cookies and soda, however, is a prescription for weight gain, cardiac disease, and other health problems.

Jennifer Ventrelle, clinical nutritionist and registered dietitian at Rush University Medical Center, maintains it’s possible to grocery shop on a budget while staying healthy and maintaining your waistline. She offers these tips:

Eat foods with fiber:Fiber Food keeps you feeling full because it takes longer to digest than simple carbohydrates,” Ventrelle says. “Consequently, you eat less.”

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, and also inexpensive and packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants. White potatoes can be high in fiber if you leave the skin on.

Bean, lentil, tomato, or broth-based soups take up more space in your stomach and help to keep you feeling satisfied. Lettuce and mixed greens do the same. You can buy them in bundles instead of pre-cut to save on cost.

“Brown rice is another high-fiber option. Buy the long-cooking kind instead of the instant to cut down on cost,” Ventrelle says. “You can make your own ‘instant’ rice by cooking it ahead of time and freezing half-cup portions in individual baggies – a trick that not only saves money but also controls your portion size.”

Read more at Medical News Today