Eating a healthy diet is essential not only for your physical health but also for mental and emotional health. A balanced diet can make a massive difference to your mood, energy, and how you think and feel. Yes, that is how important eating right is. However, it might be challenging to eat healthy at a time when most of us are facing financial uncertainties. Well, we have a few tips that can help you eat healthier on a tight budget.
Plan on your meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, planning is essential. Start revising your shopping habits, eliminating wasteful spending, and focusing on healthier choices. You can use one day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Make a grocery list of what you need.
For example, you can decide on purchasing different kinds of food that provide various nutrients for each week. If you want to purchase food rich in protein, you can consider a variety. That is, you can plan on purchasing legumes, meat, or fish on different days. Similarly, you may consider different sources of vitamins and carbohydrates. This will ensure that you get a balanced diet for your meals.
You can also take time to scan through your fridge and cabinets, and other food reserves to see what you already have. It will help you purchase only what you need. You will save money as you strive to eat healthier.
Add fruits and vegetables to your meals
Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. Also, they help strengthen your immunity and protect you against diseases. In fact, nutritionists recommend that you eat five servings of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day. Now, you can add fruit and vegetable to your diet to help you:
- Reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
- Lower cholesterol in your body
- Lower your blood pressure to acceptable levels.
The types of fruits and vegetables that you should take include:
- Apples and pears
- Citrus- oranges, grapefruits, and limes
- Watermelons, kiwifruit, and blueberries
- Lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, and pumpkin, among others.
Cook more at home
For starters, cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out at restaurants and hotels. Well, eating out might look like a way to save time and energy that you could otherwise have spent shopping for ingredients and cooking. However, ready food in hotels will end up costing you more.
Think of it this way; the cost you spend on one meal in a hotel can easily cover four people if you cook at home. It is perhaps time to look at the opportunity cost and the amount of money you will save cooking at home more often. Remember, you have no control over the ingredients used in the hotels and eateries. For example, very few restaurants use healthy cooking oil.
Their food might not have adequate vegetables and other ingredients that may help you stay healthy.
You are literally not getting that healthy and balanced diet as you eat out plus you might be spending more!
Use organic global flavours
Flavours are great for spicing up the taste of food and drinks. The problem is that flavours like fat, sugar, salt and the likes are not good for your health. So, why not go for other healthier flavour options? The good thing is that there are many options in the market. For example, you can replace artificial additives in food with organic Herbs that add natural flavours to your food. In fact, most natural flavours are even cheaper than artificial additives. You can use organic herbs to cook and even spice up your drinks.
Buy whole food
Some foods are way cheaper in their whole form than their processed form. For example, a block of cheese is better than shredded cheese and canned beans cheaper than refined ones. Also, whole grains like brown rice and oats are also cheaper per serving than most processed cereals. Buying whole food will save you money as you will pay for less and get more significant quantities. Remember, processed foods are known to be less healthy than whole foods. The whole foods will save you money and provide you with the desired nutrients.
Cut down on junk
Nutritionists associate over 75% of cases of obesity with junk food. Junk food like soda, crackers, cookies, pre-packaged meals, and processed foods is unhealthy and expensive. They offer you very little to no nutrition value, yet they are costly. You can start eating healthier by choosing to skip processed and unhealthy foods. Spend more of your budget on higher-quality and healthy foods. Quitting junk food can help you:
- Lose excess weight: Quitting can significantly reduce the number of calories you consume during the day. This can help you lose excess weight that might threaten your wellbeing. A variety of junk foods such as baked goods, fast food, and potato chips are high in calories, resulting in weight gain. This may lead to obesity and other lifestyle diseases.
- Improve your diet: eliminating junk food from your diet will give you more room for nutrient-dense foods that supply the vitamins and minerals you need for good health. Most junk foods contain too much-saturated fat, sodium, or sugar to be considered healthy. By replacing them with fruit, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains, you will get a supply of essential nutrients such as fibre, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- Reduce health risks: junk food like French fries, cheeseburgers, and pepperoni pizza contain large amounts of saturated fat that can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and more. By cutting these foods out of your diet, you can significantly reduce your risk of chronic health conditions.
Eating healthy foods is crucial for your health and wellbeing. We know that eating healthy can also be expensive but there are tricks to go this route on a budget. It all starts with a will to start eating healthy. You ought to also inculcate tweaks into your diet, albeit with lots of planning & discipline.