Affordable Nutrition: It IS Possible!

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The convenience of eating out may tempt you, but the truth is, it's healthier and more affordable to eat meals at home.

With food prices high and the economy still in the dumps, it sometimes seems that junk food is more affordable than healthy food … after all, many of us are more concerned about budget pyramids than food pyramids!

But what’s the truth?

Our Fit Family Challenge fitness expert, Dyan Damron, owner of Coach D Consulting, says it’s a myth to think eating healthy is more expensive than eating fast food. She sites a year-old study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to bolster her claim.

“While many people might think they can’t afford to eat healthier, get more exercise, and lose weight – in this economy, it is even more vital.  Facts and statistics show that being at a healthy weight and taking better care of ourselves not only adds years to our life and life to our years, but adds dollars to our pockets.”

Here’s Dyan’s proof that cutting fat can save you big:

• Contrary to popular belief, many healthy foods are no more expensive than junk food, according to the USDA study. Carrots, onions, pinto beans, lettuce, mashed potatoes, bananas and orange juice are all less expensive per portion than soft drinks, ice cream, chocolate candy, French fries, sweet rolls and deep-fat fried chicken patties, for examples.

• People who regularly eat dinner or breakfast in restaurants double their risk of becoming obese.  While it may seem that preparing healthy food at home is more expensive, Damron says she can make a healthy, fresh meal for eight for less than $20 – it’s hard to find a restaurant that allows people to eat for under $20.  

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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