All of us know we should probably eat better than we do, but it can be an uphill battle with all the stress and pressures we face in day-to-day life. The truth is, that in America today, eating healthy can be very expensive, and not all of us can afford (or want) to eat kale every day.
Does this mean you’re consigned to either stuffing your face with french fries every day for lunch or using a credit card or installment loan to cover a healthy diet for the rest of your life? Of course not. There are a variety of foods out there that are both budget-friendly and good for your health, and here are 7 of our favorites.
A nice bowl of fruit is a great lunch for most people. While you can buy pre-cut fruit salads from the supermarket, if you’re committed to saving money, you should buy fresh fruit and cut it yourself. Not only is it healthier that way, but significantly cheaper as well.
Just like with fruit, fresh greens are a great alternative to whatever you currently do for lunch. They provide some much-needed fiber to your diet, as well as being rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If you’re hesitant to start eating like a rabbit, know that you can prepare greens in a variety of ways to please even the most particular of palates.
A handful of nuts is a perfect midday snack, as they’re high in protein, healthy fats and fiber. Unlike carbohydrates and sugar, protein won’t add inches to your waistline and will release energy steadily over a long period of time, meaning you’ll stay fuller longer.
If you’re looking for an alternative to cereal, oatmeal is an ideal choice for your morning meal. It’s high in fiber and protein and doesn’t require the daily dose of milk that comes with cereal. If you’re looking for the greatest nutritional value, use steel cut oats instead of the instant packets you can pick up at the store.
Like a few of the other options on the list, yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) is a healthy, high protein option. It serves as a strong base for a shake if you need to eat breakfast on the go, but also works equally well in a packed lunch. Add some fruit for a little flavor and sweetness and you’re sure to enjoy the flavor of healthy eating.
Another breakfast option, eggs are great because of the vast number of ways you can prepare them. This will cut down on the danger of you getting tired of them, which is a real problem for many people when trying to maintain a healthy diet for any period of time. Eggs are low in calories and high in protein, making them an ideal choice for a healthy, low-cost diet.
Sometimes called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are little balls of protein you can add to almost anything. You can pair them with salads, or season and roast them on their own depending on your preference. They also taste different than most other beans, which is great news for people who dislike most beans in general.