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how to follow a cost-effective diet

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Ask. Could they make a diet with things that an unemployed person could have in his house? I look forward to seeing a nutritionist put together a diet for poor people who don’t have the money to buy the foods that are usually recommended.

After posting a diabetes dietthis message came to the channel Questions to Good Life. It was written by Ignacio, a reader of our section. But it sure represents what many Argentines live and suffer in their homes.

food like the avocado, the salmonthe almonds and the extra virgin olive oil Due to their high nutritional power, they are usually part of many eating plans. Although not all we can buy them.


Avocado fatty acids are also found in other cheaper foods. Photo Shutterstock.

Faced with the challenge of choosing products healthy and affordable, we turned to a suitable team on the subject. They are nutritionists Sergio Britos and Mariana Albornoz, director and coordinator of projects at the Center for Studies on Food Policies and Economics (Cepea).

Is eating well more expensive than eating badly?

For specialists, keep a healthy eating pattern and varied, following dietary recommendations and guidelines, implies greater consumption of some foods and less of others.

Among those we should ingest in greater amount they include:

* Fruits and vegetables.

* Legumes, whole grains or grains.

* Dairy products.

* Animal sources (fish, for example) or vegetables (oils and nuts) of poly and monounsaturated fatty acids.

We can replace almonds with walnuts, when they are at a reasonable price.  Photo Shutterstock.
We can replace almonds with walnuts, when they are at a reasonable price. Photo Shutterstock.

On the other hand, adequate nutrition implies lower consumption of:

* Bread, flour and cookies.

* All kinds of highly refined cereals.

* Dad.

* Red meat and chicken.

* Occasional foods: sugary drinks, biscuits, sweet cookies and bills, cold cut sandwiches, among others.

Milk is one of the most suitable products for a healthy and accessible diet.  Photo Shutterstock.
Milk is one of the most suitable products for a healthy and accessible diet. Photo Shutterstock.

“What is spent more on the one hand, can save partially from another side,” say Britos and Albornoz.

To achieve this saving, some of the strategies they mention are favoring seasonal foods, making bulk purchases in everything you can, and visit some businesses with better prices, such as fairs.

“In any case, according to our estimates, compared to the cost of the basic food basket, a healthy and sustainable basket has a price between one 50 and 60% higher“, nutritionists assume.

Shopping list: how to choose low-cost, nutritious foods

With the aim of following a healthy and accessible diet, for Cepea specialists the most suitable products are the following:

* Seasonal vegetables and fruits.

* Legumes and flour or whole grains.

* Milk.

Always choose seasonal fruits and vegetables.  Photo Shutterstock.
Always choose seasonal fruits and vegetables. Photo Shutterstock.

* Inexpensive varieties of yogurts in their versions with fewer calories (or homemade yogurts if they are prepared with great care in terms of hygiene).

* Dry semolina pasta.

* Fish in its lower price varieties.

How to replace expensive foods

According to the avocadoalmonds and salmon -included in many nutritional plans- specialists comment that they are expensive varieties” of food and that are usually “out of an accessibility framework for many households”.

In any case, on a more nutritional level, they point out that “none of them individually is essential in a population eating pattern”.

“The three are characterized by a contribution of mono or polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. But just as they are found in many other cheaper food“, they maintain.

It is not indispensable resort to the most expensive varieties of products, but find in the variety and plasticity the best options”, complete the nutritionists.

Instead of salmon, we can choose cheaper fish such as tuna or sardines.  Photo Shutterstock.
Instead of salmon, we can choose cheaper fish such as tuna or sardines. Photo Shutterstock.

Some examples of foods suggest incorporating are:

* Other varieties of nuts, such as nueces when they are found at a reasonable price (to incorporate into salads, for example) or the peanut (not fried or salted)

* High oleic oils, such as some varieties of sunflower.

* Fish such as tuna or the sardine.

* Olives.

Instead of buying light cheeses, we can be moderate in the intake of common ones.  Photo Shutterstock.
Instead of buying light cheeses, we can be moderate in the intake of common ones. Photo Shutterstock.

The dilemma of “light” products

Go through the gondolas looking for green packaging It’s not pocket friendly. It is that, many times, the reduced-calorie version of a product is more expensive than the traditional one.

In this regard, the nutritionists consulted believe that maintaining a healthy diet in the appropriate values ​​of caloric requirement does not go hand in hand “necessarily” from the consumption of “light” products.

They explain it through several examples, divided by food groups:

* Vegetables and fruits. For Britos and Albornoz, all of them have an adequate caloric value. “Even those that have more calories, such as avocado, grapes or bananas, consumed regularly and without excesses, do not have any type of caloric contraindication,” they point out.

* Dairy products. Also in this case, both milk and yogurts genetically have an adequate value of calories (in yogurts those that have less than 100 kcal per 100 grams).

A healthy and sustainable basket has a price between 50 and 60% higher, the specialists assume.  Photo Shutterstock.
A healthy and sustainable basket has a price between 50 and 60% higher, the specialists assume. Photo Shutterstock.

* Cheeses. Specialists comment that it is not essential to buy the light versions, but only to be moderate in the intake of common cheeses.

* Cereals, pasta and legumes. There is also no contraindication due to caloric issues if they are consumed in reasonable and not excessive portions.

This has to do with the foods that food guides designated as “protectors”.

What do the Food Guides recommend for the Argentine Population.
What do the Food Guides recommend for the Argentine Population.

Outside of them, in products such as cookies, baked goods, sweets or jams, homemade or purchased desserts, neither is it “essential” that they are light, but avoid or moderate their consumption, which should be limited to occasional.

“Therefore, maintaining a healthy eating pattern does not require spending in light products”, synthesize the Cepea specialists, always talking about healthy people, who want to have a healthy diet.

“In the cases of people with obesityany indication must be individual and prescribed by a nutritionist. It is not valid in these cases to generalize,” they clarify.

Front-of-package food labeling is now in effect.  Telem photo.
Front-of-package food labeling is now in effect. Telem photo.

learn to eat better

The Center for Studies on Food Policies and Economics (Cepea), the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) and the Argentine Network of Food Banks (RedBdeA) have just launched the “Eat better” program.

Your goal is produce sustainable change that improve the gaps in nutritional quality and diversify the diet of the Argentine population considering its various particularities.

Furthermore, as the law of Frontal Food Labeling just come into forcethe program seeks to report warnings or black seals on packages.

Through a website and social networks, information will be disseminated about each food group and the front labeling, as well as “tips”, suggestions and recipe books.

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➪ Do you have any questions about health and wellness that you would like us to address in section notes? Enter the Clarín Help Center by doing click herego to Message to the editor and then to Questions to Good Life. Write us your query and send. Clever!

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And we leave you other notes arising from Questions to Good Life:

➪ How control negative thoughts that assault us at night and do not let us sleep

➪ “I can’t lose weight”: 14 day plan for overweight and obese people

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➪ I am 78 years old and I find it difficult to lose weight:what can i do to lose weight?

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