“You are what you eat.  So, don’t be cheap, fast, easy, or fake” -Unknown
“And, since price is a one time thing, while cost is a lifetime thing, don’t you want the best, lowest possible cost?” -Zig Ziglar
“Don’t ask why healthy food is so expensive.  Ask why junk food is so cheap” -unknown
Cost-benefit:  Relating to or denoting a process that assesses the relation between the cost of an undertaking and the value of the resulting benefits -Oxford dictionary
Price: The amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something -Oxford dictionary

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “eating healthy is just so expensive.” I cannot afford healthy food. Instead, I am going to pay as little as I can to eat the foods I like.” This perception has become the norm.  People walk through the grocery store and look for the cheapest foods possible.  They look for sales and even drive to a grocery store farther away just to save a few bucks.  However, buying food the cheapest possible way all the time can have negative consequences.
Somehow, we’ve been conditioned to focus on the downside of different choices we have to make. Have you ever said any of these to yourself- “I can’t take a vacation because I have to take off work and won’t get paid, I don’t want to workout because I will miss the game on tv, I want to buy new clothes, but don’t want to spend the money?’ A lot of the times, we look at the things we have to give up. We would rather stay comfortable than move past our comfort zone to do something we know deep down we should do. We only see the negative. However, there is an upside that somehow gets missed! For example, taking a vacation is probably a good idea.  It gives you a break from the every day headaches of life and relieves stress.  Working out can make you stronger and feel more energetic.  Buying new clothes can make you feel more confident and happy.  The same goes for food.  There is a cost and benefit between healthy and unhealthy foods.
While eating junk food can be tasty, low cost, and quick, it can also be costly in many ways.  Firstly, eating high calorie foods with fat and sugar can make you feel tired and groggy.  In some circumstances, it can make you feel sick.  In time, unhealthy food makes you gain weight.Carrying extra weight causes many chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.  If these conditions are uncontrolled, you have to go to the doctor more often to keep them in check.  They can cause you to have to go to the hospital more.   Down the line, these conditions cause comorbidities to occur such as kidney disease, eye disease, and heart disease.  Sometimes, it may even cost you an arm and a leg!  All of these medical treatments become increasingly expensive as the diseases progress.
Even though eating whole natural, foods may seem costly on the surface, they actually become more cost effective over time.  Firstly, healthy foods in large containers can last longer than one serving.  A bag of baby carrots, a box of rice, and even a package of chicken breast can stretch a few meals for a few bucks each.  A fast food meal tends to cost five to ten dollars for one meal!  Moreover, eating healthy will contribute to helping you get to your best body weight.  Eating healthy makes you think better and gives you more energy.  When people feel at their best, they have more energy to accomplish more tasks and are happier!  Finally, eating healthy can limit your risk of getting sick.  It can help fend off blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

So, instead of poor nutritional foods and snacks, go for these choices instead:

-bags of baby carrots
-frozen chicken breasts
-low fat peanut butter
-lean deli meat
-greek yogurt
-whole grain crackers
-brown rice
-frozen vegetables
-whole grain cereal
-low fat milk
-whole pieces of fruit
-whole grain pasta
-whole grain bread

Obviously, this is just the start.  I’m sure you get the idea.  Most importantly, choose foods rich for their nutritional benefits and not their price tag and you will be on the right track!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 
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