Boost your health with good foods

Boost your health with good foods

Shopping advice to eat well on a budget

Photo: Man being served salad

Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is a great way to control blood sugar and feel good every day. And despite what you may have heard, healthy eating doesn’t have to be a luxury.

In fact, a 2008 study found that people who switched from an average American diet to a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meats didn’t pay more for groceries. Even better, you could end up spending less if you stay away from processed food that does nothing good for you. Junk food can cost more and be bad for your body.

“Foods such as chips cause overeating and weight gain,” says Eileen Behan, RD, author of For the Love of Food. “People very rarely overeat fruit or vegetables.” Try these strategies to buy and enjoy more healthy foods for less:

1. Plan ahead. People who make shopping lists to take advantage of their grocers’ weekly discounts spend less money and are more likely to stick to their healthy eating plan, research has found. Clip coupons for nutritious fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.

2. Enjoy in-season produce. Make the most of lower prices for fresh berries, melon, and corn. Visit your local farmers’ market for produce picked just hours ago.

3. Fill the freezer. “I keep a supply of no-sugar-added frozen fruit and frozen vegetables on hand,” Behan says. You can also stock up on frozen fish and shrimp when they’re on sale.

4. Pick protein. Canned light tuna and salmon are budget-friendly sources of lean, low-calorie protein. Use fish for sandwiches, salads, and casseroles.

5. Buy in bulk. Look for lentils, dried beans, nuts, and whole grains like quinoa. You’ll usually find them at lower prices than their packaged counterparts.

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