A paper published in the Health Affairs journal has claimed that eating a healthy diet, like the one recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for 2010, is just too expensive for those of us struggling to make ends meet.
Researchers from the University of Washington, surveyed over 2,000 residents of King County, Washington. Here is what they found:
Almost across the board, eating more nutrient-dense foods rather than empty-calorie junk foods came at a hefty price. For every extra 1 percent of daily calories in the form of added sugar, the consumer saved $25.55 a year. A little more saturated fat cut the annual food bill by a hefty $102.20.
Raising the average respondent's paltry consumption of fiber just 10 percent would cost an extra $54.75 a year. Raising potassium intake an extra 10 percent cost $189.80.
In fact, the study found that for potassium alone, raising the average person's intake (2,800 mg) to the recommended daily value (3,500 mg) would cost the consumer about $380 more per year.
The authors close with:
Dietary recommendations need to become more sensitive to the economic constraints faced by consumers, particularly those in the most vulnerable segments of society, who bear a disproportionate burden of obesity and chronic disease
My response? Uh-huh.
I can not believe that anyone, and I mean anyone at all, would say that eating junk food t is somehow better or the lot in life for people without money. Not knowing how to shop is not an excuse to fall back on the Cheetoes.
Why is it that healthy food always gets a bad rap? We need to let go of the idea that it is too hard or too time consuming to eat something that never saw the inside of a box or snack bag. Please.
As for the cost of healthy food, instead of turning to junk, why not go back to the basics? Buy basic foods and make simple but healthy meals. Our society feels it is entitled to such extravagance as fast food, cheap food and food made by someone else. For goodness sakes, put food in it's place and use it to nourish your body - not to continuously have a full feeling in the stomach.
It takes less healthy food to fill you up. Let's say it again. It takes less healthy, whole grain, natural food, to make you full and satisfied. For example, you may be able to eat an entire bag of potato chips but you will not be able to eat an entire bag of apples. You do not have to eat organic food. You do not have to eat Vegetarian or any other *type* of diet at all. Just eat food that does not come from a box.
Need help making a food plan? Email me! I would be happy to help.