Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component of living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:
- Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
- Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get there, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
- Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons for various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
- Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive.
- Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.
Are You Getting the Nutrition You Need?
The United States Department of Agriculture created MyPlate, a symbol for healthy eating that is designed to provide a simple visual reminder to help people make healthy food choices. Listed below are suggestions and guidelines for fulfilling the food groups represented on the plate.
- Fruits—Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts for this group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried, and may be whole, cut up or pureed.
- Vegetables—Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts for this group.
- Grains—Examples of grains include bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas and grits. Grains are divided into whole grains and refined grains.
- Protein—All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered protein.
- Dairy—Fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are in this group, such as cheese and yogurt. Choose mostly fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
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