Monday, August 20, 2012

Is it Possible to Eat Healthy and be Frugal?

That depends, I think. One can run off to the nearest health food store and buy organic everything, paying top dollar. But I've always been apprehensive about these stores who charge an arm and a leg for food that's equally overpackaged as conventional food.  As long as one is cooking healthy recipes and eating in moderation, I feel we can balance the cost and the health benefits.

My husband has a family history of diabetes, and though he has not been diagnosed as such, he is conscientious about it and religiously monitors his blood glucose levels as it tends to hover on the higher side.  And as a result, he tries to avoid all carbs, but that gets really tedious and is really hard for him, as well as myself who tries to cook meals he can eat.

We both LOVE pasta, but can we still eat it and keep to the diet? I've learned recently that foods high in fiber will help lower the absorption rate of carbs, since the body tries to metabolize the fiber before it attacks the carbs.  As we are cooking show junkies,  we recently saw a blind taste test of whole wheat pasta available for sale in the US market.  The Bionaturae 100% Whole Wheat Pasta won hands down among the tasters, as its' taste and texture was closest to conventional pasta that we are all used to eating and does not have the grainy, bitter taste normally associated with whole wheat pasta.  My husband found it in a gourmet food section of a liquor store near his work, and we both liked it. A LOT.

The catch: It cost $3.59 for a one pound bag! Ouch. In comparison, I paid 38 cents for a 12 ounce package of spaghetti I purchased some time ago on sale to put in food storage (which makes it just around 50 cents a pound). What's a person who wants to eat healthy to do? I found that Amazon sold 6 packages per order of this pasta for around $3.00 per package. But wait. They also sold 11 pound bulk bags at $2.27 per pound! Now THAT'S more like it! That's almost a third off the price we paid for it!  Yes, the price is still considerably more than the 12 ounce packages I got on sale. And no, I will not get rid of the pasta I got on sale because I purchased that for food storage. But for everyday, we will now be eating the Bionaturae pasta purchased at the lowest price I could find so far. Good health is priceless, after all.

Have you made similar choices with regards to food?

1 comment:

  1. After having read In Defense of Food I decided that buying better food is still far cheaper than being sick. So to go with your spaghetti I will now only purchase sauce that does not have soybean oil in it. It is merely a fat filler and not good for us. It's worth it to me to spend the extra 50 cents.