I am often reading in books or hearing someone talk about the key to eating healthy is cooking from scratch. I believe this is leaving a lot of information on the table and can be misleading. It is true cooking your food can be a step in the right direction for your health, but you must read your ingredients labels.
I am reading a book called America’s Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. The book is interesting because it talks about how they supported a large family on one modest income. I recommend it for financial advice, but not as much from a health perspective. To their credit, it was written in 2007, so maybe their perspective is a little different now. They buy a lot of their ingredients on sale and then cook them from scratch at home. This is a great idea, but it does miss a component in my opinion. Eating cheap food will eventually make you sick, and you will spend the savings on health care cost. Cooking at home does allow you to avoid the pro-inflammatory, cheap seed oils the restaurants use in their cooking, and to know what is going into your food.
What I would do about this is apply the principles they mention in the book, but use them on higher quality products. It is not going to do you any good to get thirty boxes of cereal for a dollar each if, in the long run, this is going to wreck your health. Cereal turns to sugar in the bloodstream once you eat it and the evidence for wheat products causing health issues is mounting. If you do choose to eat cereal products, I recommend Nature’s Path brand or make sure your cereal is organic, free of added sugar and has as few ingredients as possible.
It is more challenging to get healthy food cheap, but it does not have to be unaffordable. Right now my wife stays home, so we are surviving and thriving on one modest income. In our opinion, food is not the area you want to be cheap in. Organic and other higher quality products do have sales and specials on them. It is true you will be paying a little more. The Knights strongly believe if you pay more now you will pay less later. Examples include being sick less often, having more energy, less overall health care cost for the family (this is a big one), thinking clearer, and sleeping better, all from spending more on the quality of food, and not trying to get as much food as possible for the lowest price.
You want to make sure there is no added sugar and preservatives, to say the least. Ham, sausage, and bacon need to be free of added nitrates. Beef needs to be 100% grass-fed, and organic if possible. Seafood should be wild caught. Chicken should be organic or at least antibiotic free. A lot of the reasons for organic is, so you know the animal you are eating was fed non-GMO corn. As we know, you are what you eat eats’ to a point.
Get to know which companies and brands, like Nature’s Path, who have a high standard throughout their entire line of products, not just the big food giants who are trying to tap into the clean food market to increase their profits and market share.
I recommend you not look at all food as equal and only at its ability to satiate your appetite. Food is medicine, and this will transfer into how you feel. I invite you to step up the quality of your food. Yeah, it might cost you more, but look at this as an investment in your health. I promise the return on investment will be well worth it.
Let me know in the comments below how you are saving money on high-quality food to cook from scratch and your perspective on investing in yourself through the food you eat.
If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact Brian or Bethany Knight at Knightwellnesscoaching.com. We hope you have a healthy week.