Cheap Food and Your Health
This is a guest post by Kelli Worley, Ms, RDN, LD
I am always looking for the best deal when grocery shopping, but take matters of taste and nutrition into account as well. I know that one of the contributors of America’s obesity problem is the access to cheap, fast, and high fat/calorie food. We don’t have to work for our food and we have unlimited access to as much food as we want. I’m sure no one ever imagined that by building a prosperous country we were creating a recipe for obesity!
As I was eating my locally grown strawberries last summer, I was reminded how high-quality food can sometimes help you eat less. Let me explain why. When I got to the farmer’s market, the first thing I look for is strawberries. We grew strawberries in our backyard while growing up in California. There is nothing like a fresh, warm strawberry picked right off the vine! No offense to grocery stores, but their strawberries don’t even come close. Last summer I was determined to get some fresh, locally grown strawberries. At more than double the price of the berries at the store, I hesitated for just a minute, but knew it was worth it.
When I ate my strawberries I savored every one. They were just as delicious as I was expecting. I noticed that I ate them slower and enjoyed them more. That got me thinking about how we spend our food dollars. When you buy something expensive or high-quality, do you tend to enjoy it more? Let’s say you bought an expensive dessert that you can only get once a year. Would you wolf it down in 5 minutes? Maybe you would take a few bites and make it last as many days as you could. On the other hand, if something was inexpensive would you not care how much you eat or how long it lasted? I’m sure we all don’t worry as much about waste when we know we can replace something.
Even though we are always looking for ways to decrease our food budget, maybe it’s time to pay closer attention to the quality as well. As we choose foods that are delicious, satisfying, and nutritious, we are showing respect for our bodies, the people who grow our food, and the people who make our food. Now that’s a recipe for health.
Do you have any special foods that you take extra time to savor?
Kelli Worley, MS, RDN, LD is the owner of Nutrition Solutions where she helps adults and children feel better and gain energy and confidence. She loves seeing her clients feel happier as they make simple and realistic lifestyle changes. In addition to one-on-one nutrition counseling, she frequently leads grocery store tours, holds recurring group classes, makes personalized meal plans, and provides speeches to local businesses. Kelli earned her Master’s degree in nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She specializes in weight management and wellness. When she’s not immersed in nutrition, she is spending time with her husband and four little girls. She also loves to run, cook, read, cycle, and craft. You can reach her at www.intentionaleating.net.