“If Healthy Food Was Cheap I’d Buy It!”

tight-budget PART II

For so long people have been chanting the mantra, “If Healthy Food Was Cheap I’d Buy It and Eat It!” I’m not sure they would because:

  • People seem to eat what they want

  • They have never taken the time to calculate the cost difference

  • Most people don’t eat for health; they eat for taste, fullness and emotional support

  • It isn’t an important priority

  • There is a belief that there isn’t enough time to prepare meals with all the responsibilities they have

These five bullet points are not stated in judgement; they are bullet points explaining what consumers have shared with me regarding their HONEST feelings about FOOD.


real-vs-processed-foods 2Eating patterns and calorie consumption has dramatically changed over the last 45 years. People are eating less “real foods” and more “food substances.” Food substances are items that offer little, if any, nutritional value and taste good, in spite of being filled with dangerous chemicals, additives and preservatives. It is worth repeating that “food substances” lack nutritional value. This means we satisfy taste and the feeling of fullness with substances that slowly starve our bodies over time. In general, this starvation is relatively painlessly for many years. The results of this gradual starvation leads to health problems commonly maintained with medications that temporarily “plug the health leaks” within our bodies. These “health leaks” include: (1) High Cholesterol, (2) Diabetes, (3) Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (4) High Blood Pressure, (5) Cancer, etc…  The reason this starvation process is so prevalent and dangerous is because

we can’t feel it happening.

There is a belief that as long as we take our medication our problems will remain in check. This means we can continue to live the damaging lifestyles because the medication is controlling our problems.


The medication we take today TEMPORARILY puts out constant “fires” we are creating with our choices of unhealthy lifestyles.

According to Dr. Robert Glatter, M.D. in an article written in Forbes Magazine on Sept. 8th, 2015:

“nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes”.

He based his conclusion using research found in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Reference  follows:) Prevalence and Trends in Diabetes Among Adults in the United States 1988-2012

That means diabetes or prediabetes is now expected in approximately:

1 in 2 adults

If we look at the prevalence of cancer in adults today we expect to see approximately

1 in 2 adults

So what dramatic changes have we incorporated into our lives to improve our odds? For most of us we haven’t accepted the reality of these odds and have made little, if any, changes to our lives. One of the biggest factors we can control that influences improving our outcome is NUTRITION.

“It’s just too expensive to eat healthy!”   REALLY? Let’s compare!

TYPICAL: Subway Hero (small)

6″ Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub (from Subway- a “healthier” choice) with a cookie or chips and a soft drink  — COST $7.15-$7.65 (Approximately 800 calories, over 260 of these calories come from added sugar, approximately 1100mg of salt {daily averages should range no higher than 1300mg-2000mg}, 5gr of fiber {daily recommended is 25-35gr.})

Better Option: Quick Home Prepared Meal

Organic 9 grain bread with 3oz of fresh turkey, 1/4 of an avocado, 1 bowl of organic lentil soup, 3 cups of organic vegetables, 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter protein bar, and 20 oz. of water  — COST $7.79 (This is my ACTUAL cost for making this meal based on my grocery bill.) (Approximately 889 calories, 30 calories from added sugar,approximately 729 mg of salt, 24gr of fiber {daily recommended is 25-35gr.})

This is just an example. I know some people don’t like turkey or avocado, etc… I used this as an example of the BIG PICTURE. Eating ORGANIC and choosing real food as healthy options (while indulging in chocolate peanut butter protein bars for “dessert”) increased the cost by $0.14-$0.65. The example I provided also reduced salt by over 33%, sugar by over 88% and increased fiber by 79%. This meal would satiate for longer than the Subway lunch example and provide real nutrition REDUCING your chances of being the

1 in 2 for getting Diabetes Or Cancer!

I’m not saying every thing we eat must be organic. I wanted to show using the MOST EXPENSIVE options available today (ORGANIC) the cost difference in reality. It is more expensive to purchase healthier food items, but can we really compare the cost when we are comparing it to “food substances?” Is there truly a comparison when we compare it to foods that are destroying the quality of our lives and leaving us DISEASED and DEPRESSED in need of medication to maintain sub par or poor levels of health?


1. CHANGING BEHAVIOR: Changing behavior needs to become a process for it to become a new reality. Start by looking to see if your food choices have quality nutrition or are simply “food substance.” Real food does not list a slew of ingredients. Real food is usually limited to approximately 5 ingredients. Start searching the grocery stores for “REAL FOODS.”

2. BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION: Be honest with yourself and ask, What am I doing to reduce the 50% chance of developing Diabetes or Cancer? If the answer is “I don’t know” or worse, “nothing,” decide for yourself how important it is to avoid these diagnoses. Following the same damaging course in life is likely to lead to the same damaging outcome.


We doctors make money from the patient’s lack of awareness or willingness to participate in preventative health. If you, the patient, aren’t willing to care of yourself, what incentive does a doctor have to encourage healthy choices that will result in reduced sources of income from fewer patient visits and fewer prescriptions?

It is my opinion a good doctor prefers to MAINTAIN Good Health than MAINTAIN Chronic Disease. This can ONLY be achieved if the patient is willing to actively participate in maintaining good health!

3. IT’S NOT AN OBSTACLE: Don’t view the new paradigm as a hurdle to overcome. View it in a POSITIVE LIGHT to make the journey educational and enjoyable. After all, improving the quality of life, adding greater physical and mental function and reducing wasteful spending (on potentially unnecessary medications and “food substances”) can provide resources to to help achieve a healthier happier life.

4. UNDERSTAND THE DOCTOR’S ROLE: Recognize the reality that doctors will NEVER be able to help their patients achieve good health with pharmaceuticals, vitamins, chiropractic adjustments, accupuncture, homeopathic remedies, ayurvedic medicine, etc… if the patient is unwilling to feed their bodies REAL FOOD as the basis for their nutritional needs.

If this article has stimulated your thinking to begin a better approach to health, I would appreciate


In the comment section, please list ideas you would consider introducing into your lives to prevent yourself from developing Diabetes or Cancer. Those who read YOUR COMMENTS can benefit from your ideas and help other people unsure where to begin. When they see they are among peers looking to make a positive difference, it helps reinforce self value and importance. Sometimes this small change in self perception is enough to help empower a person to take charge and control over their lives. Thank you for sharing your comments and helping others avoid becoming UNNECESSARY NEW STATISTICS for future cases of DIABETES and CANCER!






  1. When I was in university, I bought whatever meat was on sale because I was “poor student.” It became a habit and I just did it without thinking even after I was an “adult” (I still feel like a kid sometimes!). I’ve started buying high quality meat, which IS more expensive on the surface BUT I eat less of it because I actually feel full and there is no price that you can put on having to experience any of the long-term health consequences of the conditions that you mentioned. I remember reading a quote that went something like this: if you can’t find the time to be healthy now, hopefully you can find the time later to be sick.

    Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great suggestion. Healthy meat in REDUCED quantities of consumption. Satisfies flavor/taste, food variety, and provides the body a healthy source of nutrition (especially protein and fat.) The quote you refer to is a great quote as well. People have to start believing in reality sooner than later if they want to be able to enjoy tomorrow.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It is expensive to buy fruit and vegetables but I try and go the the local markets or farmers markets for meat and fish too so that we can buy it in bulk or at a cheaper price. I think if we look at our budget seriously, we can find where we are spending our money and when I make an effort to cut back on the foods or items that we don’t need, I can find enough in my budget for healthy produce each week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great suggestion about the Farmer’s Market. People are sometimes quick to judge actions before they truly give them a reasonable chance. Buying healthier quality foods can be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the difficulty especially as we age. We can lessen our quantity of food while fulfilling our nutrition needs as well. This process helps with weight management without using the word DIET!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love how you mention that it’s not so much about the price difference as it is about the “food substance” and quality! It really depends on where you go to buy and when; buying in season or when food is on sale is a great time. Something that we do at home is freeze any produce that looks like it might not last before the next time we decide to use it. Frozen veggies still cook very well and they can be combined with frozen fruit for smoothies:p

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are a smart consumer. I appreciate you sharing your secrets for reducing costs without sacrificing quality of nutrition. I guarantee readers on this site will take advantage of your suggestions. Your ideas and suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed. Thank you so much.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I grew up vegan and my body is very sensitive on top of that. I can’t digest anything that’s not “clean” and I consider that an advantage. Admittedly, if I could digest flour/wheat products, my food bill would be very low but my health would suffer. I enjoy a healthy diet because I have to pay attention to what I eat. Farmers’ markets have stalls in my local supermarkets so I buy organic vegetables at a fraction of the cost and in bigger quantities. However, I’m cooking for myself, so this might not compare to readers with families.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the second person to mention Farmer’s Markets. This is a great idea on many levels. It supports local businesses, it provides fresh quality foods and reduces the expense when comparing with Whole Health food stores. I’ll bet readers of this site will investigate ideas such as buying online and buying in bulk to reduce the expenses of healthier choice foods as well. As more people begin to shift toward quality food, the cost will reduce based on competition to win the consumer. In time, better food choices become the norm favoring healthier outcomes rather than today’s “food substances” that competes with it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like the idea of meals with ingredients over food substances and will choose them every time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. another great post and I really love this quote…..well said….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pretty partial to the quote myself. Thanks for reading, Kat. Stay warm, flexible and happy. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I am all for buying healthy food on budget

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you completely. I know it requires effort and a some discipline, but the health benefits significantly outweigh the effort.


  7. We went out in the snow and shopped. Not many customers. We got meat both red and white. Veggies and fruit. We cook more than one meal at a time. Tomorrow’s dinner is already cooked, just have to do the veggies. We had some steak and chicken. Same tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It looks like your renewed faith has helped guide you in a direction of better health choices as well. I as so pleased for you. May you find a new level of growth and development each day to help fulfill your purpose in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Jonathan. My life is changing. I was all excited and bubbly today and I told my dad I am not manic I simply excited by all this.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I heard the term “pulses” the other day which seems like a way to make the staples of my diet (dried beans and lentils) trendy and more expensive. But, really! Lentils and dried beans are about $1-2 a pound and there’s so much that can be done with them. I’m not the healthiest person because BREAD/BAKED GOODS but I love making lentil/bean soups or salads. I usually use onion, garlic and whatever veggies I have that need to be used up. A pound of “pulses” can feed me for about 5-6 meals (more if I stretch with quinoa). Plus you only have to clean up once 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Becoming a healthier person often comes down to ratios when people understand what is in their best interest. If you love bread and baked goods, INCLUDE THEM in your meal planning. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. You will savor the foods and enjoy them even more while improving your overall nutrition plan. Why not give it a shot and see how it works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice suggestions and I agree with you on healthy eating. It is difficult to have proportionate diet everyday but it isn’t impossible either. I pledge to live healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is one of the reasons I use the word BALANCE so often. Perfection is NOT the goal of my definition of a healthy lifestyle. Following the “guidelines” 80-90% of the time provides a 10-20% window to satisfy indulgences (without guilt!) This makes a healthier lifestyle more palatable (excuse the pun.) People have a tendency of waiting for symptoms demonstrating damage before they modify their ways. Why wait for damage when an unhealthy lifestyle produces this damage in greater than 90% of the population? Doesn’t it make more sense to implement the various components that lead to a healthier lifestyle to significantly improve quality and function over a life span? We get ONE BODY and have to live with our decision regardless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. totally agree with you. Prevention is better then cure.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Since beginning to eat healthily my weekly food bill has appeared to go up, but, I no longer spend money of takeaway food and I am sure that in the end the two equal themselves out…..
    All of that said though I honestly believe that there can be NO value put on how much healthier you feel when you have eaten properly for several days and removed the convenience foods from your diet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In general, the cravings occur less frequently and the ability to handle the cravings become significantly more manageable. The big motivator is the incredible quality of living that becomes possible. Energy and physical capabilities improve especially as we incorporate exercise into the program. I’ll bet it becomes easy to look back at the old Cameron and say to yourself, “never again!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Almost impossible to look back now Doc. I cannot imagine what I ever saw in the stuff! The only “processed” food I eat is pre packaged Salmon ffillets and ready made cauliflower cheese….!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Your post is so true. Being young, strapped for cash, and a health care professional student, I often find myself at a serious crossroads for wanting to eat healthy, but having cravings for the cheap and unhealthy foods. If you don’t bother to take care of yourself now, when will the right time be?? Excellent and eye opening post!


    1. Being physicians doesn’t change our hormonal chemistry as you know. We have to find constructive outlets to ride out impulse behavior just like anyone else. As physicians, it is my opinion we have an even greater responsibility to practice what we ask our patients to comply with. Where is the credibility and validity in practicing health care if we don’t follow our own advice? This doesn’t mean being super human; it means creating a BALANCED LIFESTYLE that maximizes function while enjoying some of life’s indulgences. You will find one day that patients will be more willing to modify their lifestyle if they see you “practicing what you preach.”

      Liked by 1 person

  13. In the past I was guilty of complaining about the prices of foods. Now, I am lucky to be a in central location, where I have the option of 2 supermarkets and a few food marts and vegetable stands. My wife and I compare prices to make sure we are never short on the veggies we love. Also, here in New York, we have Freshdirect and other internet food shopping sites that deliver. So time and price are no longer valid excuses.


  14. I still complain about the prices; the only difference is, I now spend the money. Each of us needs to take a second and ask ourselves, “how much value do we place on good health?” We should then spend our money accordingly. No right or wrong answer; just a personal decision we get to live with for the rest of our lives.
    FYI- lived in NY for the first 30 years of my life. Lived in Greenwich Village, Woodside, and Long Island. I believe that was so long ago, they were considering building a few bridges to connect the Burroughs. 😀


  15. I tend to think that the cost of healthy food is not the biggest issue but the time it takes to prepare. After I grocery shop I spend a few hours cleaning, chopping and baking healthy items. This takes time and it needs to be a priority in order to maintain it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Often I recommend taking some time during the week or the weekend to prepare foods for the week and freeze them. This makes eating meals themselves more time efficient. It certainly is not easy, but neither is living a restricted lifestyle as a result of poor food choices and the conditions they cause. Each of us must decide which set of circumstances we wish to live.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. “There is a belief that there isn’t enough time to prepare meals with all the responsibilities they have.” We eat pretty well at my house. My choices could be better at lunch, when I am working, but at night we do well. Last night, hubs, bless his heart, made box pizza and french fries for supper in an attempt to save me time with dinner prep. It is a lot of work prepping from scratch, and then, of course there is clean up. The evening meal process is pretty involved when we eat right, but the benefit is better sleep and better health, so we do it most nights. Ironically, I forgot he offered to make dinner last night, so I shopped for brocolli and salad fixings to take home. I did have a bite of pizza, but I had a plateful of broc, too. It works, if you work it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you were able to create balance in a situation that many would have given up on. Eating is like the stock market. It’s not about each meal being perfect; it’s about looking back on the week, the month, the year and experiencing the overall health benefits of healthy living. This makes it realistic and easier to commit to for the LONG TERM. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I think for many it can be a convenience issue more than a cost issue. I’ve seen low income struggling individuals spend more on one burger, when they could’ve made three home made meals (for what they spent on the “dinner out”,) but it is “worth it” to them because they would rather do that than the prep work, cooking and clean up that making homemade, fresher or healthier food requires. Luckily these days a person can go on Pinterest and find quick easy recipes and even prep and clean up hacks for every day life. It’s challenging though for many, to create new habits sometimes, no matter how beneficial they are 💗. I’m not speaking from a judgment perspective, I’m speaking from experience. It takes a little time, inspiration and patience sometimes, but it’s worth it. The only thing I still find frustrating is how expensive fruit is where I live, yes, even frozen, so I just skip it unfortunately. But, vegetables, proteins, and good carbs like certain greens are still reasonable, so we meal plan and enjoy delicious homemade meals now, more often than not. 🍲

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective as well as your personal experiences. Health is a personal choice. One of the problems I see facing a large segment of the population is the disbelief that the standard American diet is truly life threatening. I don’t hear people saying (in between mouthfuls of unhealthy food) they are aware they are likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and cancer and live shorter painful lives. There is a disconnect between this habitual behavior and the dangerous outcome this lifestyle produces.

      This is one reason I believe future change is based on early childhood education AND PRACTICE. It is nearly impossible to alter addictive behavior in adults. If we can create a new understanding and behavior in children, their transition into adulthood is more likely to produce healthier outcomes.

      (SIDE NOTE): As expensive as fruit may be, you would be better off eating 1/2 the recommended amount of quality fruits than avoiding them altogether. Since you recognize the value, you may want to consider re-allocating some budgetary allowances to provide for your health needs. You won’t be sorry you did. This is just a suggestion because I truly care (not a statement of judgement.)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. That a person with a mouth is too scary. Should we think the question that we eat health or cheapness?


    1. I would think the answer is based on the value we place on our own lives. If we value our lives, we should value our health. Each person must decide the answer for themselves.
      Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate your comment as well.


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