Tips for making high-fiber, low-cost food choices.
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Eating fiber-rich foods has been linked to improvements in digestive health, and the reduced risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease. However, the average older American consumes only about 15 grams of fiber a day—far short of the recommended 30 grams of daily fiber for men and 21 or more grams of daily fiber for women.
Eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods is an excellent and tasty way to increase your dietary fiber intake. These foods can be expensive to buy and time-consuming to prepare, but with careful planning, you can maximize the fiber in your diet without maxing out your food dollars.
Here are a few ways to fit healthy, high-fiber foods into your budget:
- Avoid waste. When choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, plan your portions in advance and purchase just what you need so that the excess does not spoil.
- Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season. They’ll be fresher and lower cost than out-of-season options.
- Cut out the transportation mark up by purchasing locally grown produce.
- Avoid buying convenience foods, which tend to be high in sodium and price. When preparing your healthy, meals, cook enough for several days and freeze the leftovers.
- Plant a garden or join a community garden and grow your own fresh produce.
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