Eating Healthy on a Budget: Fresh vs. Processed Foods
Stocking up on fresh produce can be a challenge, both financially and in terms of availability, and it isn’t the only way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Canned and frozen vegetables are often more affordable and last longer than their fresh counterparts, and research shows that the canning process preserves nearly all the veggies’ nutrients. Other “processed” foods like microwaveable rice and pre-chopped vegetables are convenient and budget-friendly solutions.
Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez, registered dietitians and hosts of the Food Heaven podcast, are looking to make the nutrition space more inclusive and promote ways to have healthy eating be attainable for all budgets. Through their partnership with Take Root Organics, they shared their favorite “processed” foods and tips for those trying to eat healthier on a budget.
Canned foods such as beans and tomatoes are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to any meal. Frozen vegetables are also a great solution for those who don’t use fresh produce quickly enough. Buying seasonally is also a great way to save money.
Egg yolks, gluten, potatoes, coffee, white rice and even table salt have all been villainized in the past, but research shows that they can all be safely consumed as part of a healthy diet. Eggs contain healthy fats, while gluten can benefit your body as long as you’re not allergic to it. Potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, and coffee, white rice, and salt all contain important nutrients.
Overall, it is important to find a balance between fresh and processed foods. Canned and frozen vegetables are a budget-friendly solution when fresh produce isn’t available, and other “processed” foods like microwaveable rice and pre-chopped vegetables can be used to add flavor and nutrition to meals. Eating seasonally can also help to save money, and research shows that many foods which were once thought to be unhealthy can in fact be part of a healthy diet.
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