Most of us may benefit from consuming more nutritious foods.
Unfortunately, when you’re busy, eating junk food or eating out can frequently seem like the easier choice.
It is generally accessible, palatable, and typically doesn’t need to be prepared. The fact that you can order and get them delivered right to your doorstep make junk food even more desirable as people are getting lazier generally. In addition to all of these things, people also believe that healthy foods are more expensive than junk food. Therefore, it may seem impossible to afford healthy food if you’re on a tight budget, especially if you have to feed more than just yourself. I mean surely ordering 2 large pizzas for a family of 6 should be much cheaper than buying all the fish, meat, veggies, fruits, rice and other ingredients it would take to cook a well balanced dinner for the same number of people, right?
Although many of us have heard this before and may even use it as an excuse to choose less healthful foods, you have to question whether it is actually true.
That is, is it really more expensive to eat a diet that is primarily made up of healthy foods than one that is made mostly of junk food? This blog post will attempt to address this question.
Read: Hidden Dangers: What to Avoid in Processed Foods
First Off, What is Considered Junk or Healthy?
Junk foods are processed foods with a lot of calories, but that definition is merely a general one. These foods are designed so that they taste good and look appealing that you are biologically wired to want more.
Commercial goods that have little or no nutritional value but are heavy in calories, salt, and fats, such as salty snack foods, gum, candy, sugary desserts, fried fast food, and sweetened carbonated beverages, among others, may be regarded as junk food.
Even though not all fast food is junk food, many of them are. For instance, while a salad can be considered fast food, it is not junk food. Burgers, pizzas, and tacos, for example, may switch between the junk and healthy food categories based on the ingredients, calories, and manufacturing method.
The nutrients your body needs to maintain its health and keep its vitality are found in healthy foods. The main components that make up a healthy, balanced diet include water, carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
According to this advice, we should concentrate on consuming fresh foods that give us the nutrients our bodies require. Unfortunately, fresh foods don’t generate as much revenue for the food sector as processed foods do. Additionally, because junk food is widely produced in large quantities, it may appear to be more accessible and less expensive.
Read: Dispelling Myths About the Science of Weight Loss
What Does The Evidence Say?
Given that takeout dinners can be purchased for as little as N700, there is a strong assumption that cooking from scratch is expensive. As a result, people have little motivation to alter their behaviour. I mean who wouldn’t take a pack of rice with deep fried chicken for N900 over a N2000 fruit salad? Also why are the low fat variety of products more expensive than the full fat ones? Skimmed milk will always be more expensive than full cream milk.
Healthy eating has received more media attention over the past ten years, and tales concerning its cost are also on the rise, both of which have an impact on the public’s imagination. Less healthy foods are frequently less expensive, according to research comparing the cost per calorie of foods, however, these studies don’t fully explain the situation. The parameters employed to calculate costs are crucial.
Read: The Top 10 Superfoods You Need to Include in Your Diet
Is That The Full Story?
The narrative doesn’t quite stop there, as you would have anticipated.
You see, although it may initially seem as though unhealthy food is less expensive, this can be a little deceiving when looking at prices per calorie.
In fact, a recent USDA study found that when it comes to filling you up and satisfying you, vegetables, fruits, and other nutritious foods might be more economical than junk food.
For instance, even though a serving of black beans has about 100 calories and a pack of potato chips has 200–300, the meal of black beans is likely to satisfy you more. Additionally, if you had 200–300 calories worth of black beans, you would feel much fuller than if you had consumed a similar amount of potato chips. But thena again, you can pop open a bag of chips and start chomping down the full 200–300 calories but you can’t do that with beans. You’ll have to cook them with other ingredients that could potentially raise their calorie count.
According to the study’s findings, even though they frequently have fewer calories than junk food, healthy meals do not appear to be more expensive when measured in terms of their volume and weight.
Additionally, since many of us prefer to consume fewer calories while still feeling filled and eating a reasonable amount of food overall, this can offer the extra benefit of moving to healthier foods without increasing food costs.
Read: What are Natural Remedies for Common Health Issues?
In conclusion, depending on how you look at it, healthy food is both more expensive than junk food and isn’t.
It is undoubtedly more expensive per calorie than many junk foods, which are typically much higher in calories. However, even though they have fewer calories, many healthy foods are frequently more full for the money when you consider both satisfaction and volume.
This indicates that you shouldn’t avoid healthier foods just because they are thought to be more expensive if you want to lose weight.
Instead, even though they may be more expensive per calorie, these healthy meals tend to be more satisfying, so you may eat fewer of them while still feeling full and losing weight. And of course, that is even before discussing the countless nutritional advantages of consuming more ‘good’ meals, such consuming more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
At the end of the day, I guess it depends on who you ask. Different people have different lifestyles and eating habits. For some people, there is no difference between eating out and eating in because of the manner in which they prepare their food. While others are just too busy to get in the kicthen and would rather grab or order takeout food.
While we should all be encouraged to embrace healthy eating, it still comes down to personal preference, perception and pocket.
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