Thursday, May 2, 2013

Healthy and Inexpensive? How to Shop With Good Health In Mind on a Limited Budget!

Living on a budget is common place these days, from our college students, to singles, to hard working families.  We are all trying to stay healthy while watching where our money goes.  Truth is you can have it all by purchasing some staple foods that can keep you healthier without breaking the bank. Take a look at our 7 favorite healthy supermarket must haves to add to your wagon before you head to the check out.

1.  Oatmeal – This high fiber breakfast cereal is packed with nutrition.  This whole grain complex carbohydrate will provide longer lasting energy while the fiber will help to lower cholesterol.  Perfect any time of day, can be made with water or milk, can be used to bread chicken, make into healthy muffin, or added to yogurt for a parfait.  Price:   $1.45 for 42 ounce container.

2. Potatoes – Who knew that eating a potato with the skin can give you almost half a days vitamin C? Not to mention it is packed with loads of potassium. The resistant starch found in the white potato takes longer to be digested, allowing it to be a very filling food, without packing on the pounds.  Baked and topped with veggies and melted part skim cheese for a great meal or snack.  Price:  $2 for a 3 lb bag.

3.  Eggs – Touted as the perfect protein, eggs are a sure pick.  Along with protein, they are full of choline, which enhances brain development, and antioxidants lutein      and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes as we age.  Hard boil as a snack or load up with veggies as a meal any time of day. Price: $2.29 for a dozen.

4. Broccoli – Calcium, folate, potassium, fiber, vitamins A and C, need we say more?This bright green vegetable is rich in antioxidants and low in calories.  It is perfect raw with a dip, steamed aside your main dish or thrown into an omelette for a delicious taste.  With this vegetable you can’t go wrong! Price: $1.50 a lb.

5. Beans – Garbanzo, kidney, black. red and pintos are among the most common   varieties. Beans are packed with protein, fiber, magnesium and iron.  Great to             throw atop a salad, add to rice for the perfect protein or throw in to make a  delicious chili.  Dried are cheaper but even the canned ones make the low price grade. Price: $ .02 per ounce for dry and  $.04 per ounce for canned.

6. Peanut butter – Remember when you were a kid and eating was simple.  Everyone was happy with a good old pb and j sandwich.  In fact peanut butter packs great   nutrition into just 2 tablespoons.  It is packed with protein, vitamin E and  manganese.  All the fat contained is unsaturated so it is safe for the heart. PB on an apple, on crackers, in a shake or on the spoon.  It always hits the spot.  Price:   $ .15 per serving ($2.40 a jar)

7. Bananas – Monkey see, monkey do.  Looks like we are onto something.  Bananas are packed with potassium, carbohydrate, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.  Take them on  the go, slice up into your yogurt or add to milk to make a a shake. Price: $.19 a  banana.

Marlo Mittler, MS RD is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant, journalist and public speaker specializing in nutrition, wellness and healthy lifestyles. Marlo has been in practice for over 15 years, specializing in Pediatrics, Adolescents and Family Nutrition. Marlo, has appeared nationally on FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS News.

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