Eating healthy is challenging enough. But with a tight budget, the task is downright daunting.
Fortunately there are ways for you to save money and still eat healthy. The MayoClinic recommends eating less meat. It is not only good for your health, it is also good for your budget.
A diet based on fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and other greens is packed with nutrients, is low in fat and calories. This is why vegetarians weigh less and have lower cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians.
Eating less meat also helps protect against a number of serious diseases. According to the National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people, those who ate 4 ounces (114 grams) of red meat or more everyday were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause over 10 years than those who ate less.
Processed meats such as sausages and luncheon meats also increase the risk. On the other hand, those who ate mostly poultry (chicken, turkey) or fish, had a lower risk of death.
How much protein do we need?
10-35 percent of an adult’s total calorie intake should come from protein. Based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, that’s about 50 to 175 grams a day.
Other protein sources
Most Americans get enough of their protein needs in their diets. Other protein sources include:
- Eggs. A large egg has 6 grams of protein. At $2.16 for a dozen, a gram of protein from eggs costs 3 cents.
- Milk. A glass of milk has about 8 grams of protein. At $2.60 a half-gallon, that’s a little more than 4 cents per gram of protein.
- Cottage cheese. Many cheeses are high in fat, and high priced, but cottage cheese provides a healthier alternative. And at $2.50 a pound (0.5 kg), a gram of protein from cottage cheese costs a little less than 5 cents a gram.
- Tofu. At $2.00 a pound (0.5 g), you pay just 6 cents for a gram of protein.