Nutrition-Bites-Eat-Healthy-and-Save-Money

Nutrition Bites: Eat Healthy and Save Money

Eating healthy can have many different definitions, but often times what comes to mind when trying to eat healthy is the word “expensive.” Not buying wisely can result in overspending. Here are some tips on how to eat healthy without breaking the bank.

Shop in season
By shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in season you are able to get the most bang for your buck. In the months of September and October, apples, green beans, okra, peppers and potatoes (just to name a few) grow abundantly. This will decrease the prices in grocery stores, so be sure to take advantage and enjoy an extra side of okra at dinner. If you are unsure of what produce is in season, you can check out Sustainable.org. This website shows what produce is in season, and therefore, cheaper for each month.

Fresh, frozen or canned?
Fresh, frozen, and canned produce (fruits and vegetables) can all be healthy options. Fruits and vegetables that are frozen or canned are harvested at their peak of ripeness, therefore they are not "less healthy" than fresh produce. One thing to be cautious of when choosing frozen or canned produce is what else is in the container. For example, avoid frozen broccoli with cheese sauce. Choose plain frozen broccoli and season to your liking. With canned vegetables, choose the lower sodium or no salt added option, and for canned fruits choose those that are packed in 100% juice. So, in order to get the most for your money and health, choose fresh in-season produce, or frozen or canned options when not in season.

Shop at farmers' markets
Shopping at local farmers’ markets not only helps the community but can also reduce the grocery bill. Farmers’ markets provide fruits and vegetables that are grown in the surrounding areas. Buying directly from farmers cuts the cost of products and guarantees the best of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Eatwellguide.org is a great website that shows all of the farmers’ markets in a certain area, the hours of operation, and some of the produce they offer.

Try this recipe as a side dish, throw it over rice or on top of a salad:
Sauteed Okra recipe:
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 10-15 okra
  • Pepper and garlic powder for taste
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Dice onions
  • Slice okra into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Toss okra and onions in olive oil, pepper and garlic powder
  • Saute until okra is slightly browned

By Rachel Pfister, Dietetic Intern, Tulane University
Photo: Tulane PRC stock image

(Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that appears regularly in the Tulane PRC's e-newsletters and covers nutrition and health tips. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   nutrition , diet , food environment , food marketing

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