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October 18, 2021
Is healthy eating more expensive?

Here is a question that many people have been asking for years… Healthy eating is considered very expensive for some and this is one of the reasons why many avoid it and claim that they cannot afford it. The truth is that opinions differ a lot on this subject. Usually, those who find it most difficult to follow a healthy diet are families, since many parents think that if they buy some foods that their kids will not eat, it will eventually be a waste. In addition, because of the easy access we all have to junk food and because of the fact that we really like it, following a healthy diet may not be our first choice. Why? Because it costs much more, it is time-consuming, and our children may not like the meal they will consume; therefore, it is definitely something that makes you have second thoughts and avoid the healthiest way of eating. But is that so?

According to a study…

held at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), where they compared the cost of healthy foods to less healthy foods, healthier diets - which included fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts - cost more than unhealthy ones -which contained processed foods and meat. But do you know how much more? On average, healthy foods and diets seem to cost 1.5$ more per day compared to less healthy ones. So, I’m thinking… even if that’s the case…if someone told you right now to spend 1.5$ (i.e., 1.30€) more a day to boost your health, wouldn't you think a little differently?

Is there anything else that makes people resist?

It seems that yes, as one more thing that is observed is that many people consider superfoods, gluten-free, and organic products as the only healthy foods that can be consumed by anyone who follows a balanced diet. But this is not the case. You see, foods like legumes, cereals, vegetables and fruits could very well be considered superfoods since they provide our body with nutrients. Surely, what one should do is to follow a -mainly- vegetarian diet rich in vegetables, with less meat, in order to see more benefits. Beyond that, the term “superfood” is generally used for marketing purposes. Also, gluten-free products do not need to be used by people who do not have some form of intolerance or a disease, such as celiac disease. Finally, the fact that organic fruits and vegetables are more expensive may be true, but one can certainly buy fruits and vegetables from the grocery store or the supermarket by simply looking at the origin of the products.

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereals VS ready-made meals.

Many people also claim that all fruits, vegetables, legumes, and cereals -products that are part of the daily life of someone who follows a balanced diet- are much more expensive than ready-made meals that one can consume in his/her daily life. The answer to that comes through proper preparation. Once you start organizing your grocery shopping properly, you will notice that if you compare the products -e.g. their prices per 100 g or per serving- you will realize that nutritious products are ultimately more "nutritious" not only for your body, but for your pocket as well! What you need to remember is that healthy food can be both simple and inexpensive, and that you do not need to add "healthy trends" to your diet and grocery list as they will -undoubtedly- cost you much more.

Moreover, ready-made foods may seem like an easier solution because of the less time a parent may need to prepare it at home, but following a balanced diet and teaching your kids to make healthier choices and to eat healthier from an early age is very important, as it will help them follow healthier habits growing up.

So, what do you think? I believe that the final total cost has to do with the choices we make and how well or not we are organized in our daily lives. Also, I think we all know that where there is a will there is a way!

This article was written in collaboration with the scientific advisor-sports nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr, INDI.

The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.

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