Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive, as long as you know what to look for. The healthiest way to eat is moderation – in portion size, as well as in nutrients. Cutting out fat or carbs completely will only set you up for failure, and can end up costing you a lot of money if you buy into specific weight loss programs. Here are just a few ways to make healthier switches that aren’t more expensive.
Olive oil instead of butter
Full of healthy fats, olive oil will end up costing about the same as butter, and it stays fresh for longer than butter. Margarine is cheaper, but it’s made of vegetable oils, which aren’t as healthy as olive oil.
Avocado instead of butter or mayo
Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. Use it instead of butter in cookies; it’s creamy and has a light enough flavor that it won’t overwhelm the taste of the sweets you bake with it. Or you can use avocado to replace mayonnaise on your sandwiches. It will give your sandwich creaminess without compromising taste.
Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, mayo, or ice cream
Greek yogurt is healthy and versatile! Swap it into dip recipes as a substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise, or try it frozen with berries and honey for a sweet treat to replace ice cream.
Dehydrated fruit instead of candy
Dehydrated fruit is just as sweet, but healthier than candy or fruit snacks. Try raisins, or make your own using the oven or a food dehydrator. You’ll get the sugary sweetness, plus fiber and other nutrients that candy lacks.
Whole grains instead of refined
Whole grain breads and pastas don’t cost any more than white bread and pasta, but they have a significantly better health profile. Refined grains, even when “enriched,” don’t compare to their whole grain counterparts.
Veggie chips instead of potato chips
It’s no secret that potato chips are horrible for your health. Try dehydrating zucchini or sweet potato instead to get the crunch without all the extra fat and salt. If you grow your own zucchini, this is a super cheap, healthy swap.
Grated vegetables as fillers for meat dishes
Meat is expensive, and ground beef is especially loaded with fat. In homemade hamburgers or meatloaf, use grated carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, or eggplant as a filler and to cut out excess fat and calories.