The Price Tag on Health

moneyThere are many reasons why people eat unhealthily. Some were raised that way, and perhaps their parents the same before them, and so on. If that’s the case, it can certainly be hard to get out of a routine, but if it matters to you, you can do it. There’s a saying I heard once that I adored, and it applies perfectly here:

You are not responsible for the programming you had during childhood. However, as an adult, you are 100 percent responsible for fixing it.

There are others who say they can’t afford healthy eating, that healthy food is too expensive so it’s simply not an option for them. This is the most common reason people give for why their cupboards are stocked with boxes and cans instead of their fridge full of fruits and veggies. The truth is, healthy eating doesn’t have to be more expensive. Sure, at the time, paying a couple bucks for a burger and some french fries may seem cheaper than going to buy some fruits and vegetables, but in reality, it’s just not the case.

Regardless of the reasons why you eat the way you do, you can always learn to change your ways. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or that you can’t still enjoy the things you do now, but if you care about yourself and your body, this is one change you’ll be more than willing to make.

You need to take a look at the bigger picture. Unless you’re planning to survive on fast food for the rest of your life, which seems to be the case for many people — and in that case, you should be putting some extra money away every time you pay for a meal, because you’ll need it once your body starts breaking down after struggling to survive on the junk you’re feeding it — you’re actually going to save money by eating healthy.

Buying fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy foods is less expensive than buying sugary, salty junk foods and fast food. You can’t compare by calories, but instead by overall nutritional content. You may pay about the same for a single donut as you would a banana, but you’re not going to feel satiated from eating a donut, since it’s full of empty calories and has no nutritional value. A banana, apple, carrot, or other piece of fruit or vegetable, is more likely to. It’s full of vitamins and minerals your body needs, so you’re not only left feeling fuller longer, but you also feel happier, more energized, and don’t have to deal with that awful sugar crash you’ll inevitably experience with later after piling a ton of refined sugar into your body.

Also, think about the portion size of the meals you’re eating through the day. You need less healthy food to feel full, not to mention all the additional benefits you get from sticking to healthy, whole, real foods, and avoiding processed junk foods like french fries, soft drinks and ice cream.

You could go spend $5-$10 on a single meal at a fast food restaurant, where the “food” is full of saturated and trans fats, sugar, salt, and twenty ingredients you can’t even pronounce, or you could spend the same amount of money on healthy food at your local market or grocery store and prepare a healthy meal for a family of four. It does require a bit more effort than sitting in your car driving through a parking lot to pick up your Big Mac and fries, but when you think of the big picture, it’s pretty easy to see that it’s more than worth it.

Especially if you have children, it is so important to teach them the fundamentals of healthy eating. You love your kids more than anything, so it only makes sense you would want to instill the very best values in them. Teaching them how to take care of their own beautiful bodies is one of the best, most amazing and life-changing things you will ever do in their life.

People who don’t want to hear it simply don’t want to hear it, but knowing these are facts, not just opinions, after that it’s simply a personal preference to eat unhealthy, if that’s what you choose to do. If realizing that you will improve mentally, physically and emotionally by taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t do it for you, the cost savings involved surely should. To keep even more cash in your wallet, try meal planning. It only takes a bit of time to do, and you end up saving yourself a lot of money, time and stress.

It’s easy to see how important healthy eating is. Even if you’re working with a tight budget, you can make it work. Instead of wasting your hard-earned dollars away on junk and killing your body at the same time, invest your money in healthy food and give your body the nutrition it needs.

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