Eating healthier foods will require a financial commitment, that exceeds the levels required for not starving.
There’s plenty of evidence that supports the fact that you CAN in fact, afford to eat healthy foods: however they will be more expensive.
If that sounds like double talk, allow your mind to chew on a few points. Smoking might actually help you make the dietary transformation – if you funnel that cash from cigarettes to real nutrition you’ve found an extra ten dollars everyday to get healthy. The pure economics of the dietary changes will make sense after you find a way to make it happen but you will have to find money somewhere.
“In 1971, Americans spent 13.4 percent of their disposable income on food; that number now stands at about 6.5 percent. Not all prices have fallen. Some fresh fruits and vegetables, for instance, cost substantially more today. But other foods — especially the most delicious, fattening, and low-nutrition foods like cookies, potato chips, and soda — have gotten much cheaper. By one measure, a pure high-nutrition diet can cost as much as ten times more than a pure junk-food diet.” ~Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
Junk foods are cheaper because of subsidies, so you’re not paying the true cost like you do for blueberries or kale. What if you need to eat better and there’s no extra money in your food budget? One place food finances are often wasted is in restaurants – it costs much less to eat at home than in the dining rooms where you pay more for everything and then tip the server. No one tips the grocery store, so that’s fifteen (or more) percent right off the top. Real food vs. restaurant food is fresher, less expensive, and less likely to make you sick. To qualify the food safety point, consider the cross-contamination threats within every restaurant where a cutting board could be shared between raw chicken and salad bar items. This won’t happen in a vegan home, but those vegans are at risk in every salad bar setting, unless there are trained and conscientious employees taking care of these critical control points.
The overarching goal is for that extra money you spend to pay off in the long run, so you won’t be spending money on things like frequent trips to the doctor. There are no guarantees, because making them here would be illegal, but most of us recognize the power of nutrition and the equally powerful lack thereof. Eat better and make your body stronger.