Lose Weight, Eat Healthy & Don't Blow Your Budget (cont.)
Another thing to think about when buying food is how much nutrition you're getting for your money, says M.J. Smith, author of 60 Days of Low-Fat, Low-Cost Meals in Minutes.
"French fries are cheap, but other than a little vitamin C, some energy, and a whole lot of dangerous fat in most cases, that's the contribution relative to the cost," Smith says.
In her nutritional counseling practice, Smith noticed that mothers often were comfortable splurging on name-brand cereals for the kids and expensive sodas-by-the-can for dad. Then, they had no grocery money left for healthy foods like fresh pineapple or salmon filets. "Mom will buy the sugary cereal that costs $4 a pound but will think a pineapple at $2.89 is too expensive," Smith tells WebMD.
Similarly, a 3 pound lean pork roast priced at $12 might seem out of reach. "The average consumer doesn't look at the roast and think, that's enough meat to provide three dinners for a family of four," says Smith. "They just look at the $12."
She suggests the first meal might be slices of roast pork, served with a baked potato or fresh breadsticks, and steamed broccoli or a salad. For the second and third meals, leftover pork roast can be made into chili or stew, and shredded to make barbecue sandwiches on whole-wheat buns.
Smith, who lives in Guttenberg, Iowa, tells WebMD that a lot of eating during Midwestern winters is centered on televised sporting events.
"Instead of serving a sugary soda on nights when you're providing a special beverage, pour glasses of juice," she suggests. "There are so many fun juice blends. Look at the label to make sure it's 100% juice and its vitamin C content is 100%. For example, Juicy Juice has a berry blend with added vitamin C to make it comparable to orange juice."
She offers some other tips for a nutritious diet that's low in cost, too:
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