You are what you eat. And it turns out, spending a little more on what you eat is absolutely worth it.
A new meta-analysis published in British Medical Journal Open shows that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets.
In the recently published study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at 27 existing studies from 10 high-income countries. They evaluated the differences in the cost per serving and per 200 calories of different types of food, as well as prices for 2,000 calories per day.
The researchers determined that a healthier diet pattern was one that included diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts. While it’s true that healthier habits hit you a little harder in the pocket book – the benefits far outweigh the health costs of NOT eating well.
An extra $1.50 more per day on healthy food equates to $550 more per person per year. Most health professionals would argue that this price difference is quite small when compared to the economic impacts of chronic diseases that arise from poor diets, like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. (Medication cost alone for those conditions would certainly surpass $1.50 per day.)
So don’t feel bad about splurging a little on healthy food choices for yourself. It’s a small cost to consider for something that might actually save your life.