I’m Susan Bowerman, Herbalife nutritionist. People often complain to me that they think healthy foods are expensive, so they end up buying more processed foods — thinking they’re more affordable. But what do they mean by ‘affordable’? Can they ‘afford’ the added fats and sugars and the lack of fiber in many processed foods? And how much nutrition are they getting for their food dollar? Let’s look at some examples from the different food groups and see what – from a nutritional standpoint –your food dollars are really buying.
Fruits and vegetables make great snacks. And they’re really not expensive. For less than a dollar, you could buy an orange and a carrot. That single orange gives you a full day’s worth of vitamin C for only 75 calories, and the carrot gives you all your vitamin A for the day for only 25 calories. But let’s say that you choose some chips for your snack instead. A small bag of chips costs about a dollar – more than the orange and carrot, and what do you get with the potato chip snack? About 140 more calories, 17 grams of fat, no vitamin A, and 1/10th the vitamin C.
Whole grains — like brown rice or barley – are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber — and are some of the least expensive foods in the market. But they require long cooking times, which is why many people don’t bother with them. But if you turn to packaged rice mixes or cold cereals for your whole grains, consider what you’re really buying. A packaged whole grain rice mix serves 2-3 people and it’s loaded with salt. For the same amount of money, you can probably buy 2 pounds of brown rice — about 22 servings — and it’s sodium-free. For the price of a typical box of whole grain cold cereal, which contains about 10 servings, you could buy enough rolled oats to feed 60 people — with no added salt or sugar.
If you’re trying to work more fish into your diet but find fresh fish too pricey, keep in mind that canned tuna and salmon costs less per pound than processed hot dogs. For the price of one package of hot dogs, you could buy about 4 cans of tuna, which is about the same number of servings. You’d also be getting 3 times more protein, a quarter of the salt, and 97% less fat.
Yogurt makes a great snack, but the individual containers can be expensive, and in many cases you’re paying for extra sugar and you’re not getting much fruit. For the price of about 3individual containers of yogurt with fruit and sugar added, I can buy a larger carton of plain yogurt with twice the number of servings, and have enough money left over to buy some fresh fruit to put on top. And for my money, I’ll be getting less sugar, more fruit and more fiber.
For more nutrition advice from Herbalife vist http://www.DiscoverGoodNutrition.com or take a look at my YouTube playlist:http://hrbl.me/VJ6XEl.