Think eating healthy is expensive? Not necessarily.
In a new report by the USDA called "Are healthy foods really more expensive? It depends on how you measure the price" , researchers compared the portion sizes of healthy food to portion sizes of foods high in sugar, fat, and salt and found that healthy foods come out ahead.
"Studies in the past have been based on price per calorie and that's really not the way you want to look at this. You really want to look at price per portion," said Karen Palmer, a registered dietician with North Memorial. "It really proved that grains, fruits, and vegetables are cost-effective. You just have to choose carefully and choose in-season produce."
For example, Palmer says a cup of broccoli or carrots is about 50 calories whereas a cup of potato chips equals about 150 calories. The potato chips are more expensive and have less nutritional value than the vegetables, she says.
Eating healthy now will also save on health costs down the road. Palmer says extra calories can lead to diabetes, hypertension or heart disease later in life.
Palmer suggests checking out www.eatright.org to find a section specifically about how to eat right, affordably. Topics include how to save money and time at the grocery store, at the farmers market, as well as healthy eating on a budget.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Wednesday, May 30, 2012