For the majority of foods, cheap usually means processed. While eating cheap foods can save you money, they can also cost you thousands of dollars on prescription drugs, time away from work, time with your family and a lower quality of life.
Everyone wants to maximize their dollar and groceries are likely the first item to be cut when money is tight. This isn’t to say that my suggestion to everyone is to throw money at your nutrition problems, it’s to encourage you to educate yourself on what makes a high quality product, what to look for, and where to find these products locally. This doesn’t have to mean expensive. Remember that the more whole foods you eat:
The fewer nutrients you’ll be deficient in and the less you’ll crave. You’d be surprised how much you may spend on coffees every morning on the way to the office, or the vending machine at work/school.
The more satisfied you’ll be. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, all keep you satisfied for longer. You won’t be reaching for yet another processed food 30 minutes after following a meal. Instead, you’ll have small nutritious snacks that will keep you satisfied for hours
The stronger your immunity. Less cold medicines, days missed from work, and more quality time with your family
The fiber in whole foods allows the sugars to digest at a slower rate. This means that not only will we be fuller longer, but our blood sugar is less likely to spike (an increase in blood sugar entices us to grab more food when we’ve just eaten to balance sugar levels).
So, when you eat processed foods they are moved through your system quickly, they don’t give you the nutrients you need, and they’ll potentially increase your blood sugar. These are all recipes for the vicious cycle that is processed foods eating. Not only are you consuming foods that are extremely damaging to your health, but you’re ending up eating copious amounts more in order to stay full and satisfied.
Switching to high quality foods eliminates your exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, hormone-disrupting chemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMO), chemical additives, colors and preservatives, and an untold amount of other chemically-derived byproducts and toxins.
With all the energy and commitment you put into eating healthy, we want to make sure you’re choosing the right products! Many of today’s products can lead you to believe that they’re better for your health than the competing brands. Don’t let marketing fool you! Here are a couple of ways to make sure you’re choosing the best for you and your family:
Be cautious of foods that state the product is natural. Trick is: if you can’t easily read the ingredients on the label chances are it’s not good for you
Focus on foods that have no labels at all like vegetables and fruits that are organic and locally grown. Too busy to shop around? Try spud
Find a local butcher that sells grass-fed, growth hormone, antibiotic free bison, beef, or wild game
Watch for genetically modified foods. Not sure? Check out the GMO guide
Look for whole foods that don’t have a long list of ingredients
Remember that sugar usually presents itself as “ose” in the ingredients
Avoid factory farm foods
Visit your local farmers market where you can chat with the farmers themselves!
Ensuring your family is receiving the highest quality of foods will slowly decrease their need to binge on nutrient deficient snacks that rob them of their well-being. The best way to incorporate these changes is to begin small. Replacing potato chips with roasted seeds or candies with dried fruit and nuts/seeds is a strong step in the right direction.