Yikes! Why Healthy Eating Could Cost You Almost $400 More a Year

August 4, 2011  |  

A report from the Journal of Health Affairs put out today says the new U.S. nutritional guidelines, now referred to as “My Plate” as opposed to everyone’s favorite food pyramid of yesteryear, would require Americans to dish out hundreds more dollars than they are already spending for food right now. According to MSNBC, the new guidelines called for Americans to try eating things with more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and Vitamin D. Sounds simple, right? Nope. With the economy still putting folks in a tough position and it being more convenient to spend less for less healthy items, author of the report, Pablo Monsiviais says the new guidelines will be extremely hard to meet. In an interview with MSNBC, Monsiviais said because the foods recommended cost so much more, the guidelines are a bit unreasonable for people:

“Given the times we’re in, I think we really need to make our health guidance, in particular the dietary guidelines, more relevant to Americans.”

To be specific, Monsiviais says individuals would have to spend an extra $1.04 a day to get the foods recommended, racking up a healthy eating bill of $380 a year per person. Yikes! A study of the prices to come up with these numbers were done in King County, which includes Seattle, and food prices there are higher than most. So yearly costs could be cheaper depending on where you live, if not higher. The author says that if you skip the overly expensive salmon and rice pilaf that is cited as an example of healthy eating on the “Choose My Plate” website, and start encouraging people to get their nutrients from cheaper sources, the effects would be a lot better.

““If you were to guide people toward the most affordable sources of potassium, you could do it more cheaply.”

But do we really need someone to tell us what we can be eating that provides us the same nutrients for cheaper, or are folks just making TOO many excuses as to why they won’t trade McDonald’s for healthier options? What do you think?

To read more of Monsivais’ thoughts on the new healthy eating guidelines as well as other experts in nutrition’s thoughts, check out the full story at msnbc.com.

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  • Brodie

    And not to be funny but I've seen what we spend money on sometimes and spending more for your health isn't such a bad investment considering that you need just for a basic quality of life. You can't even get a new LV bag for $400.

  • Brodie

    $33 more a month? Not bad, not bad at all. I agree with tpe about growing few veggies of your own.

  • tpe

    Great article Madame Noire!!!
    I think more people in the city should get into growing some of their own veggies.They'll save some money that way.

  • seeseeseesee

    too many people put the other's needs before their own. $400 a year is nothing compared to what money is already being spent on.

  • HeadSmackeroni

    These articles are so full of crap.

    Vegetables, green veggies are priced by the cents in your average grocery store like stop & shop – and even less somewhere like lamberts. F*ck the fake "organic" veggies from wholesfood. Clearly with all the fatties that shop there it doesn't make a difference in reality.

    While meat in their small packages can be well over 15 dollars for a medium sized pack of hamburger meat. You know what's cheap, good for you, and will keep you full and energized? A bunch of different greens, and basic fruits like a variety of berries blended up into a green smoothie. Quick, easy to make, and healthier than a lettuce salad.

    If people in countries where they make much less money on average can manage to eat healthy and cook their meals every single night I would think your average American household could afford to cut down on some of the expensive meat they eat.

  • margeaux

    I noticed this going to the store with my live-in. From popsycles to bread, his cheap” food” is full of chemicals, preservatives, pseudo-sugars and salt. The produce is covered is pesticides, meats erradiated… ick!! Real food is expensive but in the long run saves more than money. You get what u pay for.

    Living in a large urban area I envy my parents mid-west backyard garden. They have enough to give to family and friends. With greens, berries, herbs, they save money and can regulate the growing conditions.