What’s In Your Cart? How to Shop Healthy, Stay on Budget
While the message these days is loud and clear that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and less artificial, processed foods, the question remains: How do you accomplish this on a budget? The problem is that cost and convenience still play a role for families already stretched thin on time and money, and in turn, affect what goes into the shopping cart. Because of this conundrum, many adults in America are sacrificing their health and lacking essential nutrients like calcium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and D, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Experts, however, say it is possible to eat better and still stay within your financial plan.
“Really, it’s about all these new wonderful foods that will enter your world,” says Brenda Langton, owner of Cafe Brenda in Minneapolis and a natural food expert. “Embrace it and have fun with it, enjoy it and reap it’s rewards.”
To this end, fresh produce and fruit juice can fill in where vitamins are missing, and frozen juice concentrates can be an affordable alternative to busy families on the go.
“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases,” says Christine Pfeiffer, the lead researcher in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.
Taiha Wagner, a practical nurse, lifestyle educator and president of Just One Bite Inc., in Eden Prairie, Minn., agrees.
“I encourage people to merge their food and health care budgets because [eating well] is preventive health care,” she says. “… Do you want to pay on the front end and have a good quality of life and stay active, or do you want to pay on the back end for illness and care?” Many innovative juice manufacturers are bridging the vitamin gap by offering better-for-you, affordable options such as fruit & veggie frozen concentrates. These new juices merge carrots, sweet potatoes and beets with peaches, mangoes, blueberries and other favorites to provide a full serving of fruit and vegetables.