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Can People with Low Socioeconomic Status Afford Healthy Food

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

can people with low socioeconomic status afford healthy food

Ideas on How People With Low Socioeconomic Status Can Afford Healthy Food

A common health related question is, can people with low socioeconomic status afford healthy food?  It has long been said that fast food companies target low income people by making their food items very cheap.  However, if you go to a local grocery store, you'll notice just how inexpensive many of the fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods really are.  It may just take a little more effort to go grocery shopping for these foods, instead of simply going to a fast food restaurant.  To the question, can people with low socioeconomic status afford healthy food, the answer is absolutely!

How Can People with Low Socioeconomic Status Afford Healthy Food - Fruits and Vegetables
People with low socioeconomic status can afford healthy food by simply taking the time to go to the grocery store.  Browse around the produce section and you'll see just how cheap many of the fruits and vegetables really are.  For example, at the grocery store I go to, a pound of apples is 99 cents, two cartons of strawberries are around $5, a bag of carrots is around $2, a head of lettuce is $1.50, and a bag of baby spinach is $2.40.  This is all fresh produce that is very affordable and can be a large part of a healthy diet.  Obviously, if you buy organic fruits and vegetables, then they are going to be more expensive.  Organic foods are nice, but they aren't absolutely necessary, especially for people who don't have a lot of money to spend.  Just take the time to rinse your produce items before eating them, to get rid of any possible pesticides or chemicals.  Buying fresh produce from the grocery store is one way people with low socioeconomic status can afford healthy food.

Another way people with low socioeconomic status can afford healthy food is by buying frozen fruits and vegetables.  These types of foods are even cheaper than the fresh produce mentioned in the previous paragraph.  I've recently converted to almost only buying frozen fruits and vegetables, instead of the fresh options, because of the price.  I've found at my grocery store that a bag of frozen broccoli (3.5 servings) is $2.30, a bag of frozen vegetable stir fry (3.5 servings) is under $2.50, a bag of frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries are all under $2.00 each, and a bag of frozen peaches is 99 cents.  Prices will obviously vary depending on the brand name that produces them.  I always go with the generic brands because I've found they taste the same as more well known brands, and they are often much cheaper.  

The great thing about frozen fruit is companies will offer different types of fruit within each bag.  I can buy a bag of mixed blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries for under $2.50.  You don't have to worry about the fruits or vegetables getting rotten, because you can keep them in your freezer until you are ready to eat them.  Another option, which is what I like to do, is to empty the bag of frozen fruits into a zip lock bag or Tupperware container and place them in the refrigerator.  I usually use a Tupperware container to avoid any leakage.  The frozen fruits will then thaw in the refrigerator and you can eat them whenever you want, or place them back in the freezer if you don't want them to spoil.  Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is a cheap and convenient way people with low socioeconomic status can afford healthy food.

How Can People with Low Socioeconomic Status Afford Healthy Food - Breakfast Food Items
There are plenty of breakfast options that can make it possible for people with low socioeconomic status to afford healthy food.  Eggs are filled with protein, healthy fats, are low in carbohydrates and sugar, and best of all they're very cheap.  A carton of 12 eggs is usually around $1.00.  Other healthy breakfast options for people with low socioeconomic status include oatmeal, low sugar cereals, fruit (mentioned above), Canadian bacon and turkey bacon.  You can buy a package of turkey bacon for less than $2.50, which contains around 12 pieces, with each piece being less than 30 calories.  

How Can People with Low Socioeconomic Status Afford Healthy Food - Lunch and Dinner Food Items
There are plenty of lunch and dinner options that can make it possible for people with low socioeconomic status to afford healthy food.  In general, buying food from a grocery store and preparing meals at home is often cheaper than buying a meal at a fast food restaurant.  You can buy packages of lean ground turkey, lean ground beef, chicken, whole wheat pasta, and deli meats for under $5.00 per pound.  

It really comes down to this for low income people, you can spend around $5.00 for a combo meal at a fast food restaurant, which usually includes some type of burger or sandwich, along with french fries and a beverage.  The burger/sandwich most likely has more than half of the calories you should consume in an entire day, and french fries constantly appear toward the top of all lists of the unhealthiest foods one can eat.  Or you can spend that money at a grocery store to buy nutritious foods and have a well balanced meal that will leave you feeling healthy and satisfied. For example, you could have a hamburger with lean ground beef, a whole wheat bun, with some carrots and an apple.  That'd be a pretty cheap and healthy dinner, plus you would likely have leftover ground beef for another meal!

Other food options for people with low socioeconomic status are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, string cheese, brown rice, and rice cakes.  A carton of cottage cheese that has 4 servings is usually less than $3.00, a single serving container of Greek yogurt is under $2.00 (it's actually $1 at my local grocery store), and string cheese, brown rice and rice cakes can all be bought for under $3.00 each.  These are healthy side options or snacks and are just another way that people with low socioeconomic status afford healthy food.

Hopefully after reading this article, you have a better understanding of how people with low socioeconomic status can afford healthy food.  Yes, it does take a little more effort to go grocery shopping on a regular basis, rather than picking up fast food for a meal.  However, you can save a lot of money and be healthier by simply making your own meals at home.  If you have children, you can have them help you make the meals, which will teach them about healthy nutrition and you'll be spending some quality time together.  Hopefully the question, can people with low socioeconomic status afford healthy food, won't be a question much longer.


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