Can you eat healthy on a budget?

An Apple A DayBy Lorrie Terry, Western Baptist dietitian

Are you trying to eat healthy but don’t know where to start? Western Baptist dietitians want to help. Submit your questions here for answers next week.

Since healthy food can be pricey, I am often asked how to eat healthy on a budget. First, you need to realize that eating healthier can improve how you feel, help save on medical expenses and possibly reduce your sick days at school or work. So your savings may be bigger than what you see weekly at the grocery.

However, from my own experience and other sources, here are some helpful tips on how to save money and eat healthy:

  • Preparing meals at home can save money and calories. Oftentimes pre-cut or pre-cooked food items will save you time, but they are not usually very budget-friendly. Having a plan can keep you on track, especially if you plan meals a few days in advance.
  • Purchasing fruit and vegetables while in season can help you save money. Purchasing in bulk also can be beneficial.
  • Choosing other options for protein, including eggs, beans, canned fish or peanut butter, can reduce your food cost. Also, try having two meatless meals per week to cut costs. Whole grain pasta, rice, oatmeal and beans can be purchased in bulk and stored a long time.
  • Watching your local grocery store ads for coupons is a great way to save money.

Lorrie TerryIt will get easier to make out a shopping list once you get in the habit of planning healthy meals. When you avoid sugary snacks and fatty junk foods and replace them with fruits and vegetables, it will help you maintain a healthy weight and is no more expensive than buying the latest cereal or cookie dessert.

Send us your health and nutrition questions, and our team of dietitians will answer them each Thursday. Check here next week for more tips and answers to your questions.

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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