An age-old complaint about eating better is that it tends to cost more. A quick glance at any drive-thru menu confirms this: a grilled chicken sandwich or fresh salad is never on the dollar menu. And low-fat fancy foods? You pay more for less!
But what about eating at home? Can you do it right on a budget? Not according to researchers at the University of Washington.
In an article published this week in the journal Health Affairs, the authors conclude that if you aim to increase your intake and meet 2010 Dietary Guidelines intake recommendations for potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D and calcium – it’s going to cost you more.
The most expensive consumption jump comes with potassium – adding an additional $1.04 per day – and $380 per year – to the average consumer’s food costs. For a family of four, that’s over $1,500 per year. For potassium.
What’s the catch? Well, the study was conducted in the affluent King County in Washington state. There are cheaper places in the country to shop – and certainly more affordable types of potassium and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables than others.
But the bottom line is, adhering to government nutrition guidelines may be financially impractical for some.