"I can't afford to eat healthy."
If there is one most common excuse for not following a nutritious diet, that’s probably it. On the surface, it seems valid: A quick cruise through the organic section at the grocery store confirms that, indeed, many of the items that are marketed as the healthiest options come with a hefty upcharge. Sure, ordering a greasy pizza or Chinese takeout may end up being cheaper upfront than planning, shopping for and preparing a well-rounded meal—but in the long run, the latter will cost you far less in terms of health and wellness.
"Many people believe that eating healthy, buying organic and eating clean is going to break the bank," says Hope Pedraza, certified nutrition coach and founder of inBalance, a fitness and wellness studio located in San Antonio. "While typical 'health foods' are generally more expensive than junk food, eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more than the alternative."
Pedraza points to a study published in the British Medical Journal, which showed that eating healthy costs a person about $550 more per year. Although this can be a budgetary strain for many people, what this study didn’t take into account was the long-term healthcare costs of eating a poor diet. "In actuality, it is a trade-off—spend a little more on food now to save you on doctor and hospital bills in the future," Pedraza advises.
Before assuming that your budget can't support proper nutrition, take a look at these expert-recommended tips for eating healthy on the cheap.
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