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Tight budgets

A tight budget can be a healthy budget

Sunday, November 04, 2012 by: Ben Meredith
Tags: tight budgets, healthy food, groceries

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(NaturalNews) Many people believe that it is relatively expensive to maintain a healthy or all-natural diet, suggesting that processed and preservative-filled foods are the only options for lower income families. A first-of-its-kind study by the Environmental Working Group; however, has proved that it is not only possible to eat sufficiently but also nutritionally on a budget.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a human health nonprofit organization. They performed a study that they hoped would result in helping low-income families learn to shop both healthily and affordably. Many people are familiar with the "Food Stamp Challenge," but the EWG wanted to go a step further. They compared the cost, nutrients, environmental pollutants, and artificial ingredients in over 1,200 foods; 100 of them were healthy, cheap, green, and clean.

Even better news for consumers on a budget is that many of the foods the EWG found to be reasonably priced and nutritious are foods that are quite versatile for cooking. Raw cabbage is less than a dime per serving; carrots, bananas, frozen broccoli, pears, and watermelon are less than 30 cents per serving. Beans are rather inexpensive and are a good source of protein, but for those meat eaters, roast turkey is high on the list as well.

Furthermore, dietitian Laura Stadler of Washington State University's School of Food Science backs up the EWG's findings with a few additions of her own. She recommends such foods as lentils (about $1.49/lb.), kiwis (about 50 cents each), canned salmon (about 90 cents per serving), oatmeal (about $4 per 42 oz. can), and brown rice (about $2/lb.) for families looking for some variety in their diets at low cost.

Price plays a key role in whether healthy products are purchased or not. A survey of low-income people found that 70 percent are not satisfied with the cost of nutritious groceries, and 25% reported overlooking healthy choices as a result of unaffordable prices. Experts suggest combating high prices by watching the weekly grocery ads, clipping coupons, and buying long-lasting foods in bulk when they are on sale. It is also highly recommended that families shopping on a budget make weekly meal plans before shopping, taking into consideration the local sales and coupons when doing so.

While healthy and nutrient-packed foods are arguably higher in price than "junk" food, the EWG has found that it is entirely possible to put a wholesome meal on the table without breaking your bank.

For a full list of low-cost and healthy foods found by the Environmental Working Group, please visit: www.ewg.org/goodfood

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About the author:
Ben enjoys writing about the benefits of green tea at Tendig.com, a revenue sharing site that publishes unique and interesting articles.

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