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Cost of Healthy vs. Unhealthy Eating

Cost of healthy vs. unhealthy eating
Karla Adams Fitness Corporation

Cost of healthy vs. unhealthy eating
Everyday, people are constantly consuming food that is often deemed as “unhealthy” due to their high fat content, low fiber, etc. Although foods that are considered to be unhealthy are generally cheaper to obtain, it is imperative to fully evaluate the overall costs of eating a healthy vs. unhealthy diet. First and foremost, let’s discuss how you can achieve an optimal, healthy lifestyle and the costs associated with them. We will then consider what you stand to lose if you decide to eat out on a regular basis.

Cost associated with healthy eating at home:

Preparing a healthy meal at home can do various things such as leading a healthier lifestyle, experience less stress, and even alleviate financial strain. Depending on your financial situation, there are several ways that can help save you a substantial amount of money. For example, instead of consuming quick meals such as “Hungry Man” (which many consist of 1,200 calories and 120% of your daily value of sodium) you can substitute it for “Lean Cuisine” which is a much better alternative. In contrast, you can substitute low fat dressings for salads, snack on fruits and vegetables instead of candy, and even substitute water (or healthy juice drinks) for soda. According to Ann Romans, “the cost per meal for eating out is almost ten times the cost of eating at home!”[1]

Cost associated with unhealthy eating:

There is a lot to lose, besides money, when making the decision to eat out. Although there are restaurants that specialize in healthy foods (by offering organic or other nutritional meals) the costs are often beyond what you would spend buying a grocery list comprised of healthy items. Consider an example of a family of four who eat out 2-3 times per week as opposed to eating at home:[2]

Average meal per person at a diner $8*4= $32…$32 x 3times per week= $96 (please note that this is for 3 days. This figure is larger due to the costs of eating at home as well).

Average spent on groceries per week $100* 4 weeks= $400… $400/90 meals (3 per day)=$4.44 per day which equates to $1.11 per meal, per person, per day ($4.44/4 people).

As you can see, committing to healthy eating at home, as opposed to dining out can have a positive effect. A family will lose over $700 a year, per person just by eating out three times a week (that’s over $2,800 lost for a family of four!). Put that money back in your wallet and eat at home.