The COst of eating Healthy

The COst of eating Healthy
by Mary Snell, Director of Nutrition and Wellness, Marsh Supermarkets
Last week an interesting article on the
cost of eating healthy was published
in the British Medical Journal Open.
Researchers from the Harvard School
of Public Health evaluated over 27
studies from 10 different developed
countries and it turns out that the cost
difference between eating a healthful
and unhealthful diet was pretty much
the same: about $1.50 per day. And
that price gap even held true when
they focused their research just on
U.S. food prices. “That’s the cost of a
cup of coffee,” remarked one of the
researchers. “It’s trivial compared to
the cost of heart disease or diabetes,
which is hundreds of billions of dollars”—both in terms of health care
costs and lost productivity.
The study compared two types of
eating patterns—the first, a diet heavy
on vegetables, nuts and fruits, like the
Mediterranean diet, versus one rich in
processed foods and meat. They
also looked at price differences
within specific food categories, such as grains, proteins,
fats and dairy, and found the
biggest price difference in
the proteins/meats category.
Healthier, leaner cuts were on
average about 29 cents more
per serving. Protein is certainly
an essential part of every diet
but there are many excellent
sources of protein that will
stretch your grocery dollar as
far as possible.
Here are some budget-friendly options to consider:
Eggs are an amazing and versatile way to get
more protein. For about 20 cents an egg,
you get the equivalent of one ounce or seven
grams of protein.
Peanut Butter
Two tablespoons of peanut butter costs less
than twenty cents. Use with whole grain products for added fiber.
Canned beans are inexpensive but dry beans
are an even better bargain. Simply put them
in cold water, bring to a boil, let them soak for
an hour or two, then simmer for about 60-90
Canned Tuna or
An economical way for including seafood into
your weekly meal plan.
Great alternative to meat. Add some to a stirfry or blend it into a smoothie.
Plain Yogurt or
Cottage Cheese
Buy them plain and add your own fruit, nuts or
a small spoonful of jam. You’ll save money and
cut down on added sugars
Whole Grains
Not only are these great sources of protein but
they’re high in fiber.
Whole Chicken
Roast it, then when the meat is gone, boil the
bones down for a delicious chicken stock for
use in soups and stews