Is Healthy Eating Cost Effective?

Even many out there, myself included, could be found guilty of the occasional dietary splurge, I think it’s safe to say that a good chunk of people at least aspire to be more health conscious when deciding what to eat. It’s definitely not an easy task, nothing worth doing ever really is, but to compound the issue even further, paying for this healthy lifestyle is perhaps more difficult than the dietary changes themselves. However, when we take all factors into account, and obviously making note that there is a humongous gray area between the extremes of the totally healthy and unhealthy diets, which of the two lifestyles really brings with it the highest cost?

In plain monetary terms, a study from the Harvard University School of Public Health found that, on average, a healthier diet costs about $1.50 more per person per day as compared to a unhealthier one. For a small example, healthy diet foods used for this study included nuts, fish, fruits and vegetables while processed foods and meats, along with refined grains were foods heavily featured in unhealthy diets. If kept up for a whole year, this cost difference would amount to about $550 per person, which for some lower income households may amount to a difference they cannot afford. However, the study does make the point that although they are in the short run more expensive, healthy diets can help to prevent and/or combat diet related chronic diseases such as Type-2 Diabetes, heart disease, high, blood pressure, and obesity, all of which can amass costs far higher than that of a healthier diet in the way of treatment and medical bills.

There are currently countless sites and lists across the internet full of healthy, low cost foods for you and your family to evaluate. So it is easier and cheaper than ever to put the right things into your bodies. Sure, you’re probably going to cheat from time to time, so is everybody, but by just adjusting your diet a little bit in the right direction, and maybe by absorbing the cost of a couple of extra bucks on your grocery store trips, it will, in the long run, make you and your family healthier and happier. Twist my arm and I’ll still have a few Oreos though!

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