woman preparing healthy food in kitchen

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

What Does Eating Healthy Mean?

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. In fact, there are many affordable foods that are considered “clean” and good for preventing diabetes.

If you’re looking for ways to eat clean on a budget, this blog post is for you!

We will discuss what clean eating means, the best foods to eat to prevent diabetes, and how to prepare them in a cost-effective way.

What does clean eating mean?

So, what does clean eating mean? Clean eating is simply choosing whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible.

Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, eating healthy on a budget
Fruits, vegetables, lean protein are essential

This means eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats most of the time, and avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy snacks.

I don’t want to be diabetic. What foods do I avoid?

When it comes to diabetes prevention, there are certain foods you should limit or avoid altogether. These include refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, trans fats, and processed meats.

Now that was a lot of jargon, so let’s break that down:

Refined carbohydrates consist of:

  • white flour
  • white rice
  • pasta
  • bread

These foods have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients and will spike your blood sugar levels leading to insulin resistance (meaning your body can’t process sugar well).

Sugary drinks include:

  • soda
  • fruit juice
  • sports drinks
  • sweetened coffee and tea beverages

These drinks contain a lot of sugar, which can lead to weight gain and type II diabetes.

Limit high sugar drinks as much as possible

Trans fats are found in:

  • fried foods
  • processed meats
  • baked goods

They’re made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils, which makes them solid at room temperature.

Trans fats increase your risk of heart disease and type II diabetes. This is due to the fact that they raise your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels.

Processed meats include:

  • hot dogs
  • bacon
  • sausage

These meats are high in saturated fat and sodium, which can lead to heart disease. Due to their high fat content, they can also lead to weight gain and type II diabetes.

So, what CAN I eat to prevent diabetes?

There are plenty of healthy foods that you can eat to help prevent diabetes.

These include:

  • Whole grains: oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa. You want to make sure that these have as much fiber as possible. An easy way to check to see if they have enough fiber is to divide the Total Carbohydrates by the Dietary Fiber. If that comes out to a 6 or less, they are “healthier” choices.
  • Fruits and vegetables: apples, berries, carrots, spinach, cabbage
  • Lean proteins: chicken, fish, tofu
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, nuts, avocados

You can also find healthy recipes online that fit your budget. The important thing is to make sure you’re eating a variety of clean, whole foods (meaning not processed) to help prevent diabetes.

What’s the least expensive way to still eat healthy?

One of the best ways to save money on clean eating is to cook at home more often. Meal prepping with leftovers in mind can also help you save money and eat healthy on a budget.

Utilizing your leftovers, the next day for everyone’s lunch or dinner can help clean out your fridge and save you money.

Another way to clean eat on a budget is to shop at farmers markets. This is a great way to get fresh, local produce at a fraction of the cost. You can also freeze fresh fruits and vegetables so that they last longer!

Additionally, buying in bulk (especially if you are cooking for a family) can be a great way to get more bang for your buck. When it comes to clean eating, every little bit counts!

We hope this blog post has given you some helpful tips on how to eat clean on a budget. Remember, eating healthy does not have to be expensive or difficult.

Just make sure you are choosing whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible and cooking at home whenever you can.

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