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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Best nutrition buys under $1.00

Trust me, it doesn’t always cost more to eat well. Sure, you can spend big bucks in the produce section, but you can also spend big bucks in the snack food and beverage isles. Nutritional value is all about the quality of the food that is being purchased for your hard earned dollar. Let’s look at that – nutritional powerhouses for under a dollar. They actually do exist.
Under a dollar- for less than the cost of a 20 ounce soda which has no nutritional value you could buy:

A pound of chicken on sale:
If you prepare it without the skin you have a great source of lean protein for the calories and the cost. This feeds three to four people.
One and a half to two pounds of bananas:
These totally portable fruits are potassium rich and a good source of fiber and are great for your heart. This feeds four to six people.
Five ounces of tuna in water:
This fish provides lean protein. It is rich in selenium and Omega 3 fatty acids which is another boost for heart health. This feeds two people.
A 15 ounce can of pinto, white or black beans:
Add them to salads, mash them up for a dip or homemade quesadillas, add them to store bought salsa to stretch it, and add to soups or chili. Believe it or not, you can even make a
bean pie. Beans are a super lean protein. They are potassium rich, a good source of zinc and a fiber powerhouse. Your blood pressure and cholesterol thank you for choosing beans. This amount feeds two to three.
A 15 ounce can of diced peeled tomatoes:
If you have a can of these in your pantry, some garlic, Italian seasoning, pasta and olive oil, then you have dinner in a flash. For 30 calories in a half cup of tomatoes and for about 30 cents you get 30% of the vitamin C and 10% of the vitamin A that you need in day. Build your immunity and feed three on the cheap!
One pound of fresh carrots:
Give four to six people all the
vitamin A they need for four days and a nice dose of potassium. Your eyes, immune system and heart will all benefit.
The real bottom line when purchasing food is the quality of nutrients purchased with your food dollar. This article by Monica Smith was published on MSU Extension News.