Local residents have cause for confusion when it comes to Kansas City healthy eating. Can we afford to buy organic produce or low-fat foods, when we can get a $1 Big Mac? The Agriculture Department released a study this month that found fruits, vegetables and healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt. These findings counter a 2010 University of Washington report claiming that junk food is more cost-effective for low-income families when foods are compared calorie-for-calorie.
“Using price per calorie doesn’t tell you how much food you’re going to get or how full you are going to feel,” argues USDA Study Author Andrea Carlson. She adds that eating a chocolate glazed donut with 240 calories will not keep a person feeling full as long as a banana with just 105 calories. Their study found that bananas, carrots, lettuce and pinto beans are extremely low-priced health foods, which stand in stark comparison to more expensive junk food like French fries, ice cream, ground beef and soft drinks. They based their study on Nielsen HomeScan information, which surveys households across the nation. Kansas City healthy is especially important, as our state battles a 30.3 percent obesity rate that is on par with the national average.
If you’re on a strict budget, you may want to consider Kansas City healthy practices, such as buying fruits and vegetables that are in season and supplementing with frozen or canned produce to avoid throwing out uneaten food. Only buy organic on produce that are listed in the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen.” You can skip organic for the cleanest produce like onions, corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, peas, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, mangoes, grapefruit and mushrooms.
For some residents, deciding how to plan their Kansas City healthy menu is an overwhelming task. There are companies like Healthy Meals Inc and Success Meals Kansas City that provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to families, starting as low as $30/day. Another option would be to meet with a nutritionist and have the professional write up a customized meal plan / shopping list that you can follow. A nutritionist can take budget issues into consideration as well.
In addition to a Kansas City healthy plan, you’ll want to add exercise into the mix as well. Did you know a Kansas City boot camp program can combine nutrition counseling, goal setting and exercise classes all into one effective package? You’ll be guided by a personal training mentor to improve your health and start living the life you’ve imagined.