Ask Tana: Eating Cheap Doesn’t Mean Eating Poorly

By: Tana Amen | Resource Categories: Nutrition and Tips. | on 16/05/2015 at 10:43 PM

You looked in the fruit and vegetable aisle. You saw how fresh and green the broccoli looks, so you decided to take a couple of stalks, but not before doing a double take on the price. You sighed, put the broccoli back, and then headed on over to the “dead aisles”; the Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure aisles, attractively lined with man-made, processed foods filled with sugar and salt to draw you in.
No, I wasn’t following you. I just know how it is. As many of you already know, I grew up in a really low-income home with my single mom who worked three jobs to put the food on the table. I was a latchkey kid, returning from school to an empty house. I soothed my anxiety with my best friends: Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch, and Pop Tarts.

For as long as I have been showing people how to eat healthy, this is still the number one question I get: “How do you eat healthy on a tight budget?”
Many people, especially low-income earners, say that they can’t afford to eat healthy. How can they afford NOT to eat healthy? Have you seen the price of a heart attack lately? Have you price-checked assisted living?
If you are going to price healthy food, you also need to price the costs of not eating it.
Cheap Packaged Foods Is A “Buy Now, Pay Later” Approach
It‘s sort of like getting a loan or using one of your high-interest credit cards. Unhealthy eating is something you can get away with in the short-term, but eventually you will have to pay more in the long run.
But eating healthier doesn’t cost all that much more. You’d be surprised. Example: instead of thinking of oranges, avocados, berries…think of sweet potatoes, beans, quinoa, eggs, turkey and kale.
Did you know that the very same nutrients found in many of the higher-priced foods can also be found in the lower-priced ones? Kale, for example, has as much vitamin C as an orange. Fruit is not the only healthy produce!

Another example is meat. A big misconception is that to be healthy, one has to have meat all of the time. If you have read my book, The Omni Diet, you know that it’s a diet of 70% plant and 30% protein that helps you keep the fat off, reverse disease and fight inflammation. But too many people get it backwards. They think of meat first, which of course adds to the food bill. Protein does not have to come from the butcher.
There are many ways to buy healthy foods of all kinds without breaking your budget. Let me show you some of them right now—including a shortcut around organic.