Healthier Food Choices That Leave Money IN Your Wallet!

healthy_food_VS_Junk_FoodThis article provides simple tips to incorporate into a realistic approach toward better nutritional habits. It also disproves the MYTH that living a healthy lifestyle is too expensive for the average person. If you are waiting for that final reason to improve the quality of your life, why not start with something simple like eating. Good foods that WON’T break the “financial budget” may just be the motivation needed.

8 Ways to Lose Weight on Pennies a Day

(Found on August 2nd, 2015 Written by the Staff at Eat This, Not That)

8 Ways to Lose Weight on Pennies a Day (Photo: Shutterstock)

There’s a weird inverse relationship between our wallets and our bellies. The smaller one gets, the larger the other seems to grow. It’s a vicious cycle: When we’re low on cash, we gravitate to cheaper food. And the cheapest food is also the most heavily-processed—chips, cookies, crackers. That leads to weight gain in three ways: Processed foods are packed with fat and sugar; they lack fiber or other nutrients; and our bodies burn only about half as many calories digesting them as we burn when we eat whole foods, according to a study in Food Nutrition Research. But in the long run, cheap food doesn’t save us any money: A Duke University study that looked at 17,000 of its employees found that for every one-unit uptick in body mass index (BMI), a  person’s medical costs increased by 4 percent and his drug costs by 2 percent. Their heaviest employees spent an extra $8,000 a year!
But if money is tight, how might you go about losing the weight while you’re waiting for that green to show up? Fortunately, not every slim-down plan requires an expensive gym membership, a personal nutritionist, or a $70-a-day juice cleanse.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #1: Drink More Green Tea

Cost per serving: 11 cents

The more belly fat we have, the harder it is to control our appetite, according to a new study from the University of Florida. To fight back: Attack belly fat with green tea, at just 11 cents a cup. In one study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea each day for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than those who did not. Researchers say the unique catechins found in green tea trigger the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speed up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #2: Swap Boxed Cereal for Oats

Cost per serving: 13 cents

Aside from being sky-high in sugar and basement-low in protein, most breakfast cereals are pricey: a 12-ounce box can run upwards of $6 for a dozen servings. By contrast, there are 30 servings in a two-pound container of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (the silo-shaped package, not the instant packets), which rings in at under $4, or 13 cents a bowl. Oats are high in soluble fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds, which increase satiety and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Sprinkle a serving with cinnamon—one of the best and cheapest fat-burning spices—or top it with fruit.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #3: Embrace the Spud

Cost per serving: 49 cents

Most people think that eating healthy comes with a stiff price tag—cold-pressed juices for $10 a pop? Case in point. However, nutritious foods like pumpkin, popcorn and peanut butter are terrific choices that won’t bottom-out your budget. We asked dietitians to recommend their top pick, and they named another P: potatoes, coming in at just 99 cents per pound, enough to feed you twice. Sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, white potatoes—Angela Lemond, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says you shouldn’t discriminate because each kind offers great health benefits, including high levels of potassium and vitamin C. “In my opinion, potatoes give you the most nutrient-rich bang for your buck in the supermarket,” says Lemond. Keep your peeler in the drawer, too. “Only 20 percent of the nutrition is in the skin, but most of the fiber is there.”

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #4: Invest in Oil

Cost per serving: 4 cents

To make every dish taste rich for just pennies a serving, put heart-healthy olive oil at the top of your shopping list. Even if you splurge and spend $20 on 25-ounce bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, it still averages out to 4 cents per serving, and its robust flavor can be used to dress salads, vegetables and other dishes. Avocado and coconut oils can also be used for stir-frys and are unsung weight-loss superstars: A Penn State study found that people who ate three tablespoons of avocado oil daily lost 2 percent of their body fat in one month, while coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides speed up metabolism!

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #5: Swap Meat for Plant Protein
Cost per serving: Less than 1 cent

While grass-fed beef and wild salmon are amazing sources of belly-filling protein, you can get fat-burning benefits at a fraction of the price. Plant-based proteins such as legumes—lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans—have been shown to speed up weight loss. One Spanish study found that four servings a week whittled subjects’ waistlines, and a 2015 study in theJournal of Diabetes Investigation showed that people who ate more plant protein had less risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes than those who ate more meat. And an 8-pound bag of pinto beans can serve you more than 100 times for less than $7.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #6: Swap Beer for Red Wine

Cost per serving: $2

If you have a drink or two at night, try switching from your usual sip to a glass of red wine. Purdue University researchers discovered that it contains a compound called piceatannol that binds to fat cells’ insulin receptors and prevents them from maturing and growing. And you don’t need to shell out big bucks: While great red wines can be had for $8 or less, even fancy bourdeaux can be affordable. Saveur magazine recently praised Chateau Greysac for its “bouquet of fresh fruit and spice” and it costs just $14 a bottle.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #7: Pack a Creative Salad

Cost per serving: 50 cents

Because the first thing you do when your cash flow dries up is start brown-bagging it, right? We asked 11 diet experts what they eat for their midday meal, and most of them shared these homemade salad recipes high in colorful veggies for fiber, certain proteins for energy and healthy-fat dressings. If you stock up on a range of healthy components—including underdogs like chard and watercress, which are superfoods healthier than kale—you won’t get bored. And if you fear the mid-week wilt, measure out portions and pop half of them in the freezer, cycling them into the refrigerator the day before they’re needed. Incorporating last night’s leftovers will stretch your dollar even further.

Money-Saving Weight-Loss Trick #8: Watch Your Portions

Cost: $0

Even if you eat healthfully, you may be overeating the good stuff. The American Dietetic Association recommends that a serving size of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards. By this measure, some chicken breasts, salmon and steak that you pick up from the freezer case can sometimes contain two to three 3-ounce servings. You don’t need a scale; just eye the proportions, and fill the rest of your plate with whole grains and veggies. And use the extra cash you’ve saved on that glass of wine!

Please let me know if these 8 simple ideas will help jumpstart

your pursuit for healthier meal planning?

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20 comments

  1. good tips to help remind us of better choices….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and hopefully a better understanding that healthier choices don’t have to be unreasonably expensive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I, sadly (with tears in my eyes), have to disagree with most of them. Not that you’re wrong, I just won’t put that stuff in my mouth including beer and wine. 🙂 I think it is unfair that the things I like aren’t good for me and vice versa. Not fair!

    If I was starving I would force it down, but if I was starving I wouldn’t have them either. That only works when I am in the hospital and they give me crap 3 meals a day and I know it is all I am going to have to eat and so force some of it down. Sad really. 😦

    I am not really this pathetic all the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t consider you pathetic. Your work has helped many a reader deal with some very difficult health problems. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. If it was everyone would be healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like compliments. I am supposing you can tell that. I love hearing that I am helping other people. Does my current work help make up for being so lazy most of my young life. Although I did raise three great kids into great adults so I guess I wasn’t totally lazy. Just don’t ask my ex-husband about my housekeeping skills. I would never be hired to clean a house 🙂 Not that I want to.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Very good tips. I always try to avoid potatoes but maybe that is not the right choice. Glad yet another article supports red wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I prefer sticking with sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa and cous cous. All potatoes in moderation will work fine (for most people.)

      Wine will remain a wonderfully healthy and fun beverage forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There was a time when I thought I couldn’t afford to eat right, but then I realized that everything in life is a trade off. I’m trading my green backs for healthy fare these days. My taste buds came back to life when I quit the steady stream of processed foods. I still eat a donut now and again, but I eat oatmeal almost every day. My body loves that stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As you continue down a healthier path your food selections and CHOICES will change as well. The motivation comes from feeling better. More energy, better clarity and happier spirits are a great tradeoff to processed foods and ultimately an assortment of health maladies.

      Like

  6. Love this article! Yes, we need to be reminded that eating healthy doesn’t mean paying more. Also, I’d add brown rice (cheaper buying in bulk and has higher fiber and less carb than white) and yams (higher in fiber and less in sugar than potatoes).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree with your two additional carb choices. Reasonably priced, loaded with good nutrition and add nice texture to a meal. I also add plain greek yogurt, curry and turmeric to the rice. I like to add protein to a meal that is higher in carbs. …and the aroma of this mixture…wonderful! Glad you liked the article.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    This proves that healthy choices don’t have to be expensive. If you’re good with it, I’m coming back to reblog this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you passing along the message. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    Reblogged this on How to $tuff Your Pig and commented:
    This post from “All About Healthy Choices” proves that eating healthy on a budget is possible!

    Like

  10. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking your time to read my article. I like to show people that health and happiness are achievable by making realistic changes in life. Perfection is NOT the goal. Finding purpose and meaning in life usually provides the motivation needed to modifying an unhealthy lifestyle. It is easier to open a person’s eyes from their perspective than convince people that “my way” is the “right way.”

      Hope to see you again and read your comments in future (or past) articles.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The introductory picture is both hilarious and eloquent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We doctors are not known for our sense of humor. I like to show the reader that better health and humor can go hand in hand. Patch Adams was a great example. Thanks for the compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! This is a great article and some very good tips. My husband and I are probably a bit of health nuts ourselves and exercise daily (weight workouts 4x/wk and gym aerobics 3x/wk). We eat only fresh fruits and vegetables while incorporating fish into our diets. No meats but I eat dairy and eggs while my husband does not. We do not eat processed foods or but a very limited amount. Oh, and I loved that Patch Adams movie 🙂

    I look forward to reading more of your blog, Bless!

    Like

    1. Nice to meet fellow exerciseaholics. 😀 Health is my passion. I like to provide information in a manner that stimulates interest and thought. I hope to help people find a positive attitude about life and the many opportunities waiting out there for them. I like to offer potential solutions that are realistic for the LONG TERM. Thank you for your comment. I look forward to hearing more about you and your husband’s journey.

      Liked by 1 person

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