On one hand, almost 40% of Americans are obese according to https://www.cdc.gov and the figure is increasing steadily and on the other hand, more and more Americans are falling prey to the crushing burden of debt mainly on account of their profligate lifestyle financed by carefree credit card use. While many people are aware of how important it is to eat healthily, they are often dismayed by how expensive the so-called healthy and diet foods are. However, as experts point out, with a little planning, it is quite possible for you to switch to a really healthy diet that will enable you to lose weight while on a budget.
Why Should You Bother About Eating Healthy
Apart from obesity that is usually the most visible symptom of not following a healthy diet, there are many other hazards of not eating right. Typically, your energy levels go down, you experience mood swings, and you are less productive at your workplace. When you eat healthily, you lower the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some types of cancer, and even prevent signs of premature aging. Even though most people think eating healthily is very troublesome and expensive, actually maintaining a healthy diet by cooking and eating at home can be incredibly cheap besides being a whole lot of fun. Some easy and practical tips for following a healthy diet:
Fresh Vegetable and Fruits
Focus on buying fresh vegetables and fruits. They are far healthier and less expensive to buy than produce that is pre-cut, bagged, and preserved with chemicals. Sure, you have to work a little more in the kitchen to prepare your meals, but the result is tastier and healthier and you know exactly what you are eating. Fresh vegetable and fruits are naturally high in fiber that helps to keep the digestive system clean and leaves you feeling full reducing the tendency to overeat. Incorporating more vegetables and fruits in your diet can be a bit of a challenge if you are not accustomed to them, however, with a little experimentation, you will be able to conjure up meals that do not involve too much labor and prep time but are interesting and tasty at the same time. Buying veggies and fruits that are in-season rather than stuff imported from faraway places can save you a lot of money, as local produce can be very cheap, especially if you try to take advantage of supermarket deals and farmers’ markets in your area.
Substituting whole grains for the refined flours is a very important step for eating healthy. Whole grains are full of fiber that expands in your digestive system after you have eaten them, helps you to eat less because you feel full, and their movement keeps that digestive system from getting clogged. Consuming whole grains is a very good way of providing the necessary vitamins to your system and fighting off the buildup of toxins in your body that can be responsible for a number of diseases like cancer and cardiac disease. Wholegrain flour can be very easily worked into your meals; simple things like white bread and Saltine crackers can be replaced with wholegrain bread and crackers. Even the normal white rice that you eat can be substituted by brown rice that is tastier and healthier. A number of whole grains like couscous, quinoa, bulgur, etc. are very easily available at supermarkets and when bought in bulk, they can save a lot of money. If dining out frequently has maxed out your credit cards and you are unable to pay the dues, change your lifestyle immediately and undergo debt settlement with the help of a professional agency like Nationaldebtreliefprograms.com
Even though steak and pork chops are super delicious, you know that they are not very healthy as they are loaded with saturated fats, which have been proven to be responsible for blocked arteries that lead to elevated blood pressure, brain strikes, and cardiac disease. On top of that, they are some of the most expensive proteins that are available in supermarkets. As important as protein is for muscle building and repair, most people tend to overestimate the amount of protein that is needed daily. Adult men need only 55 grams of protein daily while women can do with 10 grams less. When you see that 3.5 ounces of chicken has 30 grams of protein, egg 6 grams, and a cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams, it is obvious that fulfilling your daily requirement of protein is not that hard. Eating a mix of lean white meats, fish, milk, dairy products, walnuts, tofu, soybeans, etc. can easily meet your protein demand, make your meals interesting, lead to better health, and cost far less.
While most people end up consuming a whole host of dairy products, they usually do so without paying much attention to the health aspect. Most dairy products are high on the calcium content that is essential for bone growth and health, it is important to avoid products like full-fat milk and cheese that are rich in fats. To eat healthily, consider switching to soymilk, toned milk, yogurts, and cottage cheese that have all the goodness of protein and calcium you want without creating health problems for you. Soymilk and yogurts can be made more palatable by mixing them with fruit, nuts, and wholegrain. When shopping, look out for promotional deals in the supermarket or coupons that allow you to save substantially on your food budget.
When you want to eat healthily and save money at the same time, the wisest thing to do is to stop eating out and have your meals at home to the extent possible. With a little planning, you can even make healthy and tasty lunches that you can carry to work and not gorge on junk food that not only drains your wallet but also creates major health problems as well. Try to make your meals as interesting as possible by including fresh in-season produce available cheap with wholegrain and super-foods like quinoa. Prepare your own soups, salad dressings, dips, sauces, pickles, etc. at home. It takes very little effort and is very cheap too. Creating a meal plan will help you to shop widely and cheaply.