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By Sharon Palmer, R.D. - Environmental Nutrition Newsletter for JewishWorldReview.com
"Healthy food is expensive." That's often the belief surrounding nutritious foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. However, evidence indicates that it might not be true. A May 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that, on a per serving basis, many whole plant foods, such as grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, are less expensive than foods we should consume in moderation, such as sweets, chips and fatty meats. It makes sense that minimally processed plant foods should be lower in cost than more highly processed selections; after all, the less food processing and packaging involved, the lower the food cost. (Think whole potatoes vs. potato chips.) However, even healthy whole foods, such as fresh berries, macadamia nuts and wild salmon, can be costly because of availability, cultivation and transportation. But if you base the majority of your food purchases on seasonal, local nutrition bargains--foods that provide high nutrition content for a relatively low cost--you can allow for a splurge on wild-caught fish, delicate raspberries or specialty nuts more often. Check out our nutrition experts' top picks for nutrient-rich food bargains. Prices are based on average retail surveys from the U.S.D.A. and U.S. Department of Labor. 1. Eggs (16 cents per large egg) "Eggs are rich in protein, versatile and good for any meal or a snack. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two cousins of beta-carotene, which may help prevent age-related eye disease," says Virginia-based registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., author of "Diabetes Weight Loss, Week by Week." 2. Onions (12 cents per small onion) Rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins B6 and C, the onion offers a much needed nutritional and flavor punch. They also contain phytochemicals, such as quercetin and allyl sulfides, which are linked to heart health, immune function and anti-cancer effects. Add them to a number of dishes, such as soups, stir-fries, and casseroles. Continue reading.
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