One of the common barriers I hear is that healthy food costs more. But is this true?
There are 2 nice studies looking at this and the results may surprise you. A 2015 paper found that a healthy diet, rich in fruit, vegetables and healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates can actually be cheaper than an unhealthy diet. The second study was done in 2013 by the Harvard School of Public Health which showed that the healthiest diets cost on average $1.50 more per day than the unhealthiest diets, which is about $10/week.
So it is either cheaper or just a bit more expensive to eat healthily. For some people $10 a week may be genuinely out of reach, and it is terrible this is the case and I hope you get out of that difficult situation soon. But for many people, we need to be careful about assuming the price of good food is out of your reach until you do a budget and assess where you currently spend your money. $10 a week is not a lot if we spend that amount on a few bottles of coke, 1-2 coffees, or half a packet of cigarettes You have to decide if this sacrifice is worth it.
Where weight loss and eating healthy becomes expensive is with branded programs or food with lots of marketing. In many ways you are paying for the packaging. It is definitely cheaper to shop and make your own food, often in bulk to also save you time. For some this can be a challenge because you don’t know how to cook healthy food quickly so I would recommend checking out a few recipe sites like the ones below, going on youtube and watching some videos or going to a few cooking classes so you actually enjoy the process.
Readings and Resources:
Do Healthier Foods and Diet Patterns Cost More Than Less Healthy Options? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis