For many people, the topic of healthy nutrition seems mysterious and baffling. Is healthy food really affordable? Do you have to buy all kinds of expensive protein powders and oddball super-foods in order too get the nutrition you need? Do you really have to eat like a caveman, and does that involve concocting such strange culinary items as non-dairy coconut “cream” frosting? In this article we will explore these questions and provide some simple guidelines for easy, affordable, everyday healthy eating. Read on to learn more.
Is Healthy Food Affordable?
Why, yes indeed, it is! In fact, healthy food is far more affordable than the processed food-like substances that unfortunately make up most of the diet of a great many Americans. While it may seem as if processed “foods” are cheap, the fact is these substances do not really satisfy your appetite or your body’s needs. This means you eat more and spend more. Additionally, when you fill your body with junk, you end up with an unhealthy body. This means you have more health problems, and we all know that medications and trips to the doctor are not cheap.
Even though you might spend a little more on a healthy, whole food diet consisting of lean protein sources, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, natural dairy products and healthy oils, in the long run you’ll save money. Real food is tastier and more satisfying, and it keeps the doctor away!
Do You Have To Buy Expensive Protein Powders And Oddball “Super-Foods”?
No! You do not have to buy those (or similar) things in order to have a healthy and nutritious diet. The fact is, the simpler and more natural your food is, the healthier it is for you. Protein powders are, for the most part, processed. You don’t need them. Choose simple, natural, healthy lean protein sources such as:
- Lean beef, fish and poultry
- Cheese and yogurt
- Beans and lentils
It’s best if you can get grass-fed meats, cruelty free eggs and organic products in general, but if you can’t afford it, just do the best you can. Make the best and most natural choices from the foods that are available to you.
Super-foods such as Acai berries and whatnot are nice and healthy, but regular berries, such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries deliver very similar benefits at a much smaller price. Grown your own berries or purchase organic if you can. If not, again, get the freshest and most natural varieties available to you. Choose fresh over frozen, frozen over dried, dried over canned.
Do I Have To Eat Like A Caveman?
You do not have to eat like a caveman, and you couldn’t if you tried. In fact, the diet that touts itself as “paleo” is nothing of the kind. Paleolithic man did not eat non-dairy coconut cream pie or any of the other oddball recipes put forth by this faddish diet.
Generally speaking, if you want to eat well and affordably, you should avoid this and all other gimmicky diets. While the foods recommended by these schemes may be healthy, the fact that they are specialized and unusual will end up costing you.
Choose Whole, Local Foods
You are far better off making simple, whole food choices than buying specialty foods so that you can adhere to a diet scheme. Instead, adopt a smart and simple food plan that makes good use of locally grown foods and products that are readily and affordably available to you.
Strive for a daily diet that consists of:
- One-half fresh fruits and veggies
- One quarter lean protein sources
- One quarter whole grains
- Small amounts of healthy fats and oils
Avoid packaged and processed foods, soft drinks, hydrogenated oils and other products that offer little or no nutrition coupled with lots of empty calories. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Use natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey or molasses instead.
Devote some time to learning basic cooking skills so that you can prepare your own foods from scratch using minimal cooking methods (e.g. steaming, stir-fry, sautéing) that allow the food to retain the most healthy nutrition.
Cook with healthy oils, such as coconut and peanut oil for hot cooking and olive oil for cold uses (e.g. salad dressing). Use real butter instead of margarine.
Whole Foods Naturally Provide Healthy Nutrition
It may take a bit of practice to adopt a natural, whole food diet; however, once you get the hang of shopping smart and cooking your own food simply, from scratch, you’ll never turn back. Be sure to boost the success of your eating plan by drinking lots of pure, filtered water every day, taking a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement daily and getting plenty of satisfying rest and at least half an hour of enjoyable exercise daily. With this common-sense, affordable, holistic approach to wellness, you will soon find yourself healthy, wealthy and wise!