Maintaining a healthy diet may be one of the hardest things to do in life. It takes self-discipline, determination, and a will to want to be the healthiest version of yourself. Eating healthily, though, is often thought of as expensive or impossible if you don’t have a lot of money. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and doctors and nutritionists agree.
Why Should You Follow A Heart-Healthy Diet?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. Roughly 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, which equates to one in every four deaths. When you consider that diet plays a large role in your risk of developing heart disease, eating foods that are beneficial for you entire body, including your heart, is the right thing to do.
Foods You Should Eat:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Liquid oils (mainly coconut, avocado, olive, and walnut oils)
- Lean proteins
Foods You Should Avoid:
- Dairy products
- Fatty or processed meats
- Trans fats
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars or grains
- Sugary drinks (soda, bottled juices, etc.)
- Sold fats
Tips For Heart-Healthy Eating On A Budget
Be Aisle Smart:
We cannot stress this point enough, people. The center aisles of the grocery store will lure you in with their packaged cookies, chips, canned foods, and frozen treats, but they are trying to trap you. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, and meat are shelved around the exterior aisles of the market. The only items you should buy from the center aisles are sodium-free canned beans (black beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans) because they have many heart-healthy fats. You can also purchase frozen fruit, so long as there are no added sugars or preservatives.
Don’t Shop On An Empty Stomach:
If you are trying to practice self-discipline, you will not be able to act responsibly if you shop for groceries on an empty stomach. When you’re hungry, it’s much easier to impulsively buy things that you know you shouldn’t eat. Go to the grocery store on a full stomach with a list of foods that you should buy. This will help you stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary, unhealthy items.
Be Label Smart:
Certain foods are more attractive than others. That’s just the way it is. For example, a sugary cereal is more attractive than a fiber-rich, natural grain cereal. And people buy what they are used to, so the willingness to step outside the comfort zone is another hurdle to jump over. Anytime that you purchase something with a label, you have to look at the calories, sugars, fats, cholesterol, protein, and sodium per serving. Sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, should be consumed in limited quantities if you want a healthier heart.
Stop Eating Out:
Eating out frequently is a surefire way to quickly deplete your funds. Additionally, the restaurant you eat at is often controlled by impulse. But…you can cook your own meals, bring your own lunch, pack your own snacks, and still eat an unhealthy diet. Therefore, you must apply the other tips in this article to reform your diet and increase the nutritional value of your homemade meals, snacks, and more.
Home Cooking On A Budget:
Healthy eating is not complicated, although it can seem that way at first. The simplest way to ensure that all of your meals are properly portioned and heart-healthy is by meal prepping. You may find that your dollar goes a lot farther when you buy raw ingredients that make up a certain number of meals and snacks.