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Your Health and Your Budget

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Americans want to eat well, but most of us aren’t doing a very good job. The proof is in the pudding (no pun intended). Our fatty foods obsession created an obesity epidemic of epic proportions. More than two out of every three American adults is either overweight or obese. Although it is not as extreme a problem as obesity, being overweight is unhealthy.

What’s going on? Poor diet and limited exercise, of course, but that leads to questions on its own. Americans, after all, know what they should be eating. They just aren’t eating it. For some, the go-to excuse is cost. It’s just too expensive, they say, to eat well. Similar things can be said about supplements, including multivitamins and weight-loss supplements.

Expensive Health Food: A Questionable idea

Eating healthy is the ideal, but many of us think doing so is just too pricey. This claim holds up to limited scrutiny, however. One study found a difference of just $1.50 per day, on average, between a healthy and unhealthy diet. Experts point out that the costs of an unhealthy diet, which come in the form of things like medical bills, far outweigh this small investment.

Sure, plenty of high-end restaurants exist that offer pricey health foods, and plenty of upscale fast food places aiming to collect cash from health-conscious yuppies who pay for health (and the appearance of health — be careful with that Chipotle). However, we don’t need our health food to be well-branded. We just need it to be good for us!

With limited cooking skills, most of us will find that we can ditch Kraft macaroni and cheese for affordable options like vegetables. Skip the overpriced bagged salads and buy your own vegetables. You’ll find things very cheap, indeed. Also, remember that even the cheap fast food joints you target may offer healthy options. McDonald’s salads may not be as Instagram-worthy as ones from hip small chains, but they’re still health, and very cheap.

Making up the Difference

There is a very small cost associated with upgrading your diet, the studies show, but it’s easy to make up that amount by looking at our current habits and getting more efficient.

Coffee is a great place to start. Ditch your Starbucks addiction for a coffee subscription and start brewing your own coffee. You can even transfer your Starbucks gift card balance through some promotions. While you’re at it, start drinking regular coffee and limiting the cream and sugar (or better yet, take it black). Coffee on its own isn’t bad for you, but the frothy concoctions at popular chains like Starbucks are just desserts in disguise!

Investing in Supplements and Health

Supplements aren’t always cheap, but — like healthy food — they’re a wise investment. A large bottle of multivitamins will last you a long time, and the price of a weight loss aid like Methlydrene can be well worth the boost it gives your weight-loss journey. For many of us, it may be our priorities, not the prices, that hold us back when it comes to healthy eating!

In short, the idea that healthy food is pricier is a myth. There may be some high-end spots out there catering to the health-crazed set, but us regular folks can do just fine with vegetables and smart supplement choices. Find the motivation it takes to sit down and plan out your food budget, setting up purchasing rules and making the decisions that will see you through the end of your weight-loss struggles.

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