Healthy Eating Saving: Healthy and Cheap Foods

Healthy Eating Saving: Healthy and Cheap Foods

Healthy and Cheap Foods

Following a healthy and balanced diet and doing the shopping well are two fundamental factors in the success of the diet and the family budget. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get healthy foods . Often the healthiest and cheapest foods allow you to fill your trolley and eat properly. Just a little forethought and don’t give in to the temptations of marketing . Often, for example, a fortune is spent choosing products advertised as “dietary” and for this reason sold at a disproportionately high price. The best, healthiest and low cost foods are the simplest ones such as seasonal fruit and vegetables , cereals , legumes, white meats and oily fish , cheap and nutrient-rich foods. Most of them are also allied foods in the prevention of arteriosclerosis and various heart diseases .

Seasonal fruit

Fruit is often cheaper when it’s in season. With a high vitamin content , it is an excellent source of fiber , antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fruit can be eaten fresh, added to cereals, smoothies, used to sweeten muffins or baked cakes. The three types of season:

  • Apples : they have very few calories and sugars , suitable for diabetics and as a hunger breaker in a  low – calorie diet . Rich in mineral salts and group B vitamins .
  • Kiwis ; rich in water and carbohydrates, it has a low glycemic index – so it can also be used by those suffering from diabetes – it provides carotenoids , vitamin C , vitamins K, E, folate and minerals such as potassium , phosphorus and calcium “.
  • Pears : rich in calcium, boron  and fiber.
  • Citrus : Vitamin C concentrate.


Eggs are cheap (an average of 1.80 -2.50 euros for six free  range eggs) and simple to cook. They are ideal to consume once or twice a week, and are rich in protein and omega 3 and 6, useful for health because they help prevent cardiovascular disease . They also contain vitamins A and D and zinc , a mineral needed to  counteract anemia .  

Oily fish – fresh and canned

Tuna , salmon , mackerel , sardines : all the fish belonging to this category are among the richest in terms of omega 3,  EPA and DHA content, unsaturated fatty acids very important for health. Furthermore, oily fish ensures a high content of mineral salts, such as phosphorus, iron , calcium and iodine . While mackerel and sardines are also affordable at the fish counter, tuna and salmon are often cheaper if bought canned. In this case it is useful to choose those preserved in olive oil or, even better, those natural, and with a reduced salt content.

Tuna is an inexpensive food, low in fat and rich in protein and for this reason very suitable for a balanced diet. It can be used as a second course or as the main ingredient of many different recipes, from  sauces  to cold condiments for pasta ,  meatballs or vegetable stuffing . Tuna also contains selenium and is a good source of  vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Oily fish is among the foods indicated to regulate blood sugar levels , and therefore to be consumed in case of diabetes.

Green vegetables – fresh and frozen

Often priced at less than $2 a pound , green vegetables — fresh or frozen — are an excellent source of vitamins C, B, E, K, and iron, magnesium , calcium, antioxidants, and fiber. All nutrients found in vegetables such as broccoli , spinach , beets , cabbage , cabbage , Brussels sprouts . They can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to stir-fries , soups, curries and smoothies.


Putting a fair amount of canned or dried legumes in the trolley guarantees the body a healthy supply of mineral salts, vitamins, low fat and lots of protein. In fact, legumes are made up of 25 to 40% of proteins , whose biological value is  higher than that of cereals and just slightly lower than proteins of animal origin. So make room for chickpeas , beans , lentils , broad beans and peas . They are also among the highest fiber foods that contribute to weight loss.

Beans are an affordable source of protein, compared to animal sources Rich in nutrients , such as iron, fiber and  plant sterols , they are also virtually free of saturated fat . At around 0.70 euro cents a box, they can add texture and flavor to soups, nachos  and salads . Black beans can also be used in desserts such as brownies .

Lentils , canned or dried, are inexpensive legumes and a great source of healthy carbohydrates , fiber , and iron. Lentils are also allies of diabetes because they are low glycemic index food . Lentils can be used in soups, curries, and veggie  burgers .

Oatmeal and cereal for breakfast

Starting the day with a high-fiber breakfast cereal provides an excellent source of prebiotics , which aid in gut health . Enjoyed with milk (the benefits of boiling milk ), yogurt or added to smoothies, they are a healthy and economical breakfast option. Oats are a low  cost food with outstanding dietary benefits. In fact, it contains beta-glucans, which are polysaccharides that help the body burn fat . Rich in  mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron) and proteins, it is an excellent source of thiamine (vitamin B1 ).

Garlic and onion

Often costing less than 50 cents a pound, onions and garlic not only add loads of flavor to many dishes, they’re also a great source of vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, sulfur compounds, and phytochemicals. Garlic and onion are extremely versatile and can be used to flavor almost any dish, such as roasts, pizzas , salads and risottos. Garlic is among the flavorings and herbs capable of lowering blood pressure.

Chicken or turkey

Chicken , turkey and rabbit . Sliced ​​or stewed , they must not be missing in a healthy diet, twice a week. From a nutritional point of view, white meats are a source of proteins of good nutritional value, i.e. rich in essential amino acids , B vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin ) and minerals (iron, zinc, copper ), as well as being highly digestible . and little fat.

Potatoes and carrots

Usually costing around 1 euro per kilo: carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene , fibre, vitamins C and K. Not only a staple food to be used as a side dish or ingredient in vegetable soups, stews and timbales, they can be used also in cakes, added in smoothies and used in confectionery.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins B and C and beta-carotene , the latter perfect ally for skin health . Potatoes also contain  many starches and like cereals are important sources of energy. They also have a  high satiety index. 

Canned tomatoes

At about 1 euro a can, canned tomatoes , in pulp, peeled or in pieces, should never be missing from the pantry. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as potassium. Canned tomatoes can be blended into pasta and pizza sauces and used in sauces, soups, pies and casseroles.



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